Chinese Navy reveals large destroyer's replenishment training for 1st time

The Nanchang, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's first Type 055 large destroyer, recently completed its first known maritime replenishment training, a crucial operation crucial for the newly commissioned warship's combat capability.
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Chinese Navy reveals large destroyers replenishment training for 1st time 925 001 Type 055 guided-missile destroyer Nanchang (Picture source: Sina Weibo)

The supply ship Taihu and Nanchang recently conducted replenishment training, the PLA Navy announced on its Sina Weibo account on Monday. The post also came with a video of the operation. This is the first time a maritime replenishment training by the 10,000 ton-class Nanchang has been publicly revealed, the PLA Navy said.

The replenishment training is an important part of its combat capability generation program, and since it is expected to conduct missions of an extended time period in the far sea and accompany aircraft carriers or lead independent naval task groups, it needs to be capable of conducting replenishment operations through supply ships, Li said.

After making its public debut at a naval parade in April 2019, the Nanchang was commissioned into the PLA Navy at a naval port in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on January 12, 2020. In late April, it conducted a real combat-oriented training, including the main gunfire in waters off Qingdao, according to publicly available reports.

Following these training subjects, the Nanchang is soon expected to form initial combat capability. China's most advanced destroyer is soon expected to be put into action and accompany aircraft carriers in far sea operations, experts predicted.

In addition to the Nanchang, China has launched at least five more Type 055 destroyers in the Dalian Shipyard, northeast China's Liaoning Province, and Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. Two more are reportedly under construction.

Chinese Navy reveals large destroyers replenishment training for 1st time 925 002Type 055 guided-missile destroyer Nanchang (Picture source: Sina Weibo)

About the Type 055:

Type 055 adopts a conventional flared hull with distinctive stealthy features including an enclosed bulbous bow that hides mooring points, anchor chains and other equipment. It has a length of 180, a beam of 20 m, and it displaces over 12,000 tones at full load. It is a development of the Type 052D Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyer but is about a third bigger than the latter.

The missile defense systems of the Type 55 combine surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, land-attack cruise missiles and anti-submarine missiles. It has a total of 112 vertical launch systems (VLS) with 8x8 units in the front deck and 6x8 units in the middle. For the air defense, the ship could be equipped with missiles including HHQ-9B long-range air defense missiles and HQ-16B mid-range air defense missiles. According to the Chinese Naval Industry, Type 55 could be also equipped with a type of mid-close-range surface-to-air missile developed from the DK-10 missile. The HHQ-9B is a naval version of the HQ-9, a medium- to long-range, active radar homing surface-to-air missile. The HQ-16 is a Chinese-made medium-range air defense missile system.

The main gun of Type 55 seems to be an improved version of the 130 millimetres single-barreled H/PJ45A-130-1, which could be found on the Type 052D. The gun can shoot 40 shells a minute, and a normal shell can travel 30 kilometres, while a rocket-propelled guided shell could hit targets even farther and more accurately.

The Type 55 is also equipped with a Type 1130 close-in weapon system that can shoot tens of thousands of bullets per minute to neutralize incoming missiles. It also has a 24-unit HHQ-10 close-range anti-missile system that can effectively intercept supersonic anti-ship missiles, according to the report.