Type 055 Destroyer | Specs, Capabilities & Firepower

Type 052D (L), Type 055 (R)
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 13,000 tons
Length: 180 meters
Speed: 32 knots (57 km/h) 
Country of Origin: China
Operators: China (2018)
Weapon Systems:
         ✪ Main Gun: 1 × H/PJ-38 130 mm main gun
         ✪ Close In Weapon Support: 2 × FL-3000L CIWS. 2 × 30mm CIWS
         ✪ Cannons: 2 × 25mm Auto-cannon
         ✪ Short Range SAM: 1 × HQ-10 short-range SAM in 24-cell launcher (aft)

    128 Vertical Launch System (VLS):
          ✪ Surface-to-air missiles (SAM) - Medium to Long Range
          ✪ Land attack cruise missiles (LACM)
          ✪ Anti-ship cruise missiles (AShM)
          ✪ Anti-submarine missiles (ASW)

      Unit Cost (Speculated): USD 900 Million


      ✅   Firepower:

      In 2015, military analyst Li Li claimed the Type 055 would have two 64-cell VLS grids (one fore and one aft).

      It will be carrying YJ-100 long-range anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-submarine missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles. It has range of 900 km, this missile can also be launched from H-6 bomber. The YJ-100 will have an onboard radar and is potentially a counter to the American Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

      It is also speculated that ship would carry YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles. The YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile has operational range of 220–540 km, with cruising speed of Mach 0.8 and terminal speed of Mach 3.0.

      In Land Attack category, Type 55 destroyer might carry CJ-10 long range cruise missile (LACM) with range from 2,000 to 4,000 km and CEP of 5 meters. This missile has all the latest modern tech to accomplish its task.

      It might be equiped with CY-5 series Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missiles, CY-5 is the vertically launched version of CY-4 with folding control surfaces to fit into VLS. The range is reported to be 30 km.

      Another Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) that will find its way to Type 55 destroyer is DK-10A (possibly quad-packed) medium range SAM.

      In Long range (SAM) category, it can be HQ-9 series long range SAM or some other upgraded SAM with range greater than 250 km.

         Radars:

      It is speculated by most analysts that the Type 055 destroyer will make use of an updated Type 346A active electronically scanned array radar (AESA) and X-band small (AESA) array radar system, which result in a strong capability of detecting medium-range and short-range targets. The Type 055 DDG will most likely use 4 phased array radar panels, with two panels on the front of the superstructure and two aft.

      It is speculated that the radar systems on Type 055 destroyers will be upgraded version of Type 52D DDG and will be able to detect stealth fighter aircraft, particularly the American F-35 Lightning II, especially if the Type 346A radar is an S-band radar like the American SPY-1 radar. Tactical stealth fighters are optimized to be undetectable from higher-frequency radar bands such the C, X, and Ku, but features like the tail-fin may make it susceptible to lower S or L-band frequencies.

         Identification & Counter Measure Systems:

      The mast on the Type 055 mock-up mounts 3 radar panels, most likely for friend-or-foe identification (IFF), fire-control and electronic countermeasures (ECM), on the forward face of the mast only, yet the actual vessels will carry these same panels on all four sides of the mast. The mock-up also sports an exposed ESM mast at the top of the integrated mast, but it is unclear whether the ESM mast will remain exposed or not on the actual vessel.

         Propulsion:

      It is estimated that the propulsion systems of the newer vessel are similar to the smaller Type 052D. The PLAN aims to leverage all of the benefits of standardization.

         Cost-Effectiveness:

      The majority of systems used on Type 055 DDG are upgraded or already improved versions of existing destroyers developed by China which in turn decreases overall costs because the systems are not altogether different and it saves a lot of money on operational costs.


         Role & Conclusion:

      The Type 055 DDGs could serve in a multitude of roles. They could offer longer range and greater Anti-submarine (ASW) and Anti-aircraft (AAW) defense for fleet task forces or aircraft carrier strike groups (CSG) to be fielded by the PLAN in the near future.

      Type 052D and 055 destroyers could operate in conjunction with one another in a similar fashion as the Arleigh Burke DDG and Ticongeroda guided missile cruiser (CG), in providing a multilayered and robust fleet defense.

      With greater range and capability, they offer the PLAN the ability to increase the range and endurance of China’s naval power projection efforts, and further transform the PLAN into a true “Blue Water” navy. They will undoubtedly serve to showcase the growing military, political and economic power of China in broader diplomatic term


      What Chinese researcher has to say about Type 055 destoyer:

      Li Jie, researcher with the PLA Naval Military Academic Research Institute, expressed that information from various sides shows that the Type 055 guided-missile destroyer boasts outstanding overall performance and represents the highest level of Chinese surface vessels today.

      According to Li Jie, Type 055 destroyer has a full load displacement of 13,000 tons and will be China's largest destroyer if commissioned.

      Second, it has outstanding stealth performance thanks to various stealth designs and comprehensive stealth means. Its body also adopts stealth design, and the radar has a very small cross section with low infrared radiation, small electromagnetic radiation and low noise.

      "In addition to escorting aircraft carrier battle group, Type 055 destroyer is also able to head up an independent multi-purpose marine combat taskforce and carry out air-defense, anti-submarine and anti-ship missions," he added.

      The reporter noticed that this wasn't the first time that western media call China's Type 055 guided-missile destroyer a cruiser.

      "The fact that western countries call China's Type 055 destroyer a cruiser indicates that they are looking at China's military development with colored glasses and magnifying the function and role of China's equipment. It's a manifestation of the China Threat theory," Li Jie added.