This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

China Modernized Type 051B Destroyer Equipped With New Vertical Launch System


After returning from a major refit, the Chinese Navy showcased its modernized Type 051B destroyer “Shenzhen,” equipped with a new 32-unit missile vertical launch system, on Monday, November 25th, 2019.


China Modernized Type 051B Destroyer Equipped With New Vertical Launch System 925 001 The guided-missile destroyer Shenzhen (Type 051B) of the PLA Navy (Picture source: Chinese Navy)


“The People’s Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN’s) sole Type 051B destroyer has gained very powerful combat capability after the modernization,” said Weihutang, a column on military affairs affiliated with China Central Television (CCTV).

The Shenzhen is now equipped with a vertical launch system, which consists of four sets of eight units, allowing it to host 32 ship-to-air missiles that can shoot down incoming hostile aircraft and missiles, Tong Zhenrong, deputy captain of the Shenzhen, said on CCTV on Sunday.

The boat joined military service as fleet flagship in 1998. The Shenzhen undertook refit in 2017 that saw its capabilities significantly upgraded, allowing it to become a guided-missile destroyer with the capability to command a joint operation fleet, Global Times reported, citing China Youth Daily. “This capability allows the Shenzhen to integrate information gathered by every unit and distribute it to other units that need it,” Weihutang said.

The Type 051 destroyers were built in China but the class was heavily influenced by Russian designs, particularly the Kotlin-class destroyers. Seventeen ships were built between 1970 and 1990, although only two - Zhanjiang (165) and Zhuhai (166) - remain in service after the recent decommissioning.