China Begins Sea Trials for Type 055 Guided Missile Destroyer

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On August 24, China’s PLA-Navy began sea trials for the first of its Type 055 guided-missile destroyers. Lead ship Nanchang (101) was launched in June 2017 in Shanghai and was declared by the China’s Defense Ministry “a milestone in the PLA Navy’s strategic transformation and development”. China launched a second 055 in May 2018, followed by two more launched in July 2018. The Type 055 is estimated to displace between 10,000-13,000 tons while fully-loaded, and is therefore classified by the U.S. Department of Defense as a cruiser. It is armed with medium- and long-range surface-to-air, antiship, and land-attack cruise missiles, including the HHQ-9, YJ-18, and CJ-10. The ship’s defenses include an active phased array radar system, a bow sonar, and a towed sonar. The PLA-Navy is scheduled to procure at least eight Type 055 destroyers.