Zunyi, the seventh Type 055 destroyer in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army [PLA] fleet, has made its first public appearance since commissioning. This is reported by the Chinese publication Global Times.

According to journalists, the newer ship was shown in a television report on the occasion of the Lunar New Year celebration in Zunyi, after which the destroyer is named.

The Zunyi’s addition to the Chinese Navy has not been officially announced, but a Beijing-based military expert, speaking on anonymity, told the Global Times that the ship’s appearance in the TV report most likely indicates that it has been commissioned and has become the seventh Type-055 destroyer built for the Chinese Navy.

The first such destroyer, Nanchang, joined the PRC fleet in January 2020. Lhasa, Anshan, Wuxi, Dalian and Yanan followed.

Shi Hong, editor-in-chief of Shipborne Weapons magazine, told the Global Times that the Type-055 destroyers are the world’s best ships of this class in terms of integrated capabilities.

The eighth is underway.

According to journalists, the eighth Type-055 destroyer was launched in August 2020. Analysts suggest that given the pace of production at Chinese shipyards, it will soon be delivered to the PLA fleet. 

In China, the Type-055 class destroyers belong to the fourth generation. In size, with a displacement of about 13,000 tons, they are inferior only to the American destroyers of the Zumwalt type [displacement – ​​14,500 tons], but they are superior to the destroyers of the Arleigh Burke type and the Ticonderoga cruisers.

The primary purpose of the Type-055 destroyers is to escort carrier strike groups. They are also called to act as flagships of naval detachments.

About Type 055

The Type-055 class destroyer is 183 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 6.6 meters draft. Powered by four 28 MW QC-280 gas turbines, these vessels reach speeds of up to 30 knots. Navigation range: 5,000 nautical miles. Crew: more than 300 people.

The Type 55 destroyers are armed with HQ-9B anti-aircraft missiles with a range of up to 200 km and HQ-26 anti-aircraft missiles [similar to the American SM-3], YJ-18A anti-ship missiles [similar to the Russian Kalibr]. 

YU-8A anti-submarine missiles are also supposed to be included in the arsenal. The destroyer is also equipped with a 130mm H/PJ-38 fully automatic gun, four 30mm H/PJ-11 anti-aircraft guns, HQ-10 short-range anti-aircraft missile systems, and torpedoes. In total, the Chinese Navy is scheduled to receive 16 Type-055 destroyers.