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People's Liberation Army Navy

Type 055 Jiangwei frigates
Type 057 Jiangwei-II frigates
Type 059 Jiangwei-III frigates

The Jiangwei class was the first Chinese patrol combatant to have anti-submarine capability. It is 115 meters long, a displacement of 2250 tons, and a speed of 25 knots. The Jiangwei class represents a shift in Chinese naval thinking away from ships that operate close to shore and toward ocean-going warships. Its major weapons system is the CY-1 anti-submarine missile. There is a helicopter deck for one helicopter, and six C-802 anti-ship missiles are deployed, though the units lack any real ASW capability.

Historically the biggest weakness of Chinese destroyers and frigates has been their inadequate ship-to-air missiles. Because they have small displacements, most of the destroyers and frigates are not equipped with short-range and intermediate-range missiles, but use artillery with a limited firing range, one-man air defense missiles, and a small number of PL-8H short-range ship-to-air missiles for air defense. The weakness in air defense capabilities has confined the activity of China's destroyers and frigates to the Chinese coastal waters, within the area covered by the fighters of the Chinese Navy. The new Luhu class destroyers and Jiangwei class frigates are equipped with relatively advanced ship-to-air missiles, such as HQ-61B's with a firing range of 10 km and Sea Sidewinders with a firing range of 14 km, giving the Chinese Navy full capabilities of air defense in distant seas.

The new Type 057 Jiangwei-II are generally similar to the original Jiangwei in size and arrangement. They have upgraded radar and fire control systems, a pair of quadruple YJ-8II SSM systems (compared to the original pair of triple launchers), and an octuple HQ-7 SAM system. Despite these major improvements over existing ships, they lack vertical-launch system air defense missiles, which places them in a vulnerable position. At least five Type 057 frigates were constructed at the Huangpu shipyard. The first two entered service by the end of 1999, with the others to be launched thereafter. As of late 1999 the first vessel (521) was undergoing sea trials, while the second (522) had yet to be launched. At least one if not as many as four of these ships were being built for Pakistan's Navy to replace four US warships, but budgetary constraints have delayed the delivery.


Builder Hudong Shipyard
Propulsion 4 diesels
Length 377.3 feet / 115 meters
Beam 46 feet / 14 meters
Draft 13 feet / 4 meters
Displacement 2,250 tons full load [Jiangwei-II 3,000 ??]
Endurance 4,000 miles
Speed 28 knots
Crew 170~180
  • 6 C-802 SSM,
  • 1 6-cell HQ-61 SAM
  • 1 dual 100mm/56cal gun
  • 4 dual 37 mm AA guns
  • 2 Type 87 ASW rocket launcher
  • Jiangwei-II
  • 8 C-802 SSM
  • 1 8-cell HQ-7 SAM
  • 1 dual 100mm/56cal gun
  • 4 dual 37 mm AA guns
  • 2 Type 87 ASW rocket launcher
  • 6 12.75 inch torpedo tubes
  • Construction 'Type 055 Jiangwei' Class
    539 Anqing
    540 Huainan
    541 Huaibei
    542 Tongling

    'Type 057 Jiangwei II' Class

  • Four [possibly five] Jiangwei units completed in the early 1990s.
  • Two Jiangwei-II units completed in 1999, with at least three more Jiangwei-II units under construction.
  • The Jiangwei-III Type 059 class of frigates, expected to begin construction before 2005, is anticipated to remedy the anti-air deficiencies of the Type 055 class through the addition of a vertical launch system battery of surface-to-air missiles.
  • Sources and Resources

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    Updated Monday, March 20, 2000 7:36:16 PM