Launch ceremony for the first warship of the 055 class. Photo: CCTV
The 055-class destroyers are arguably China's largest, most powerful warships
By ASIA TIMES STAFF NOVEMBER 3, 2017 7:04 PM (UTC+8)
China has accelerated the deployment of its ace guided-missile destroyers, known as Type 055, as four of the latest-generation warships, capable of attacking targets onshore, offshore and underwater, are being built at the nation’s two largest shipyards in Shanghai and Dalian.
The latter is also the home port of the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier.
When the first ship of the 055 class was launched at the end of June in Shanghai, China’s official media offered scant details of the brand-new destroyer, though some observers reckoned that it might be the largest warship in the Asia-Pacific region except for aircraft carriers.
But an expert with the PLA Naval University of Engineering revealed at a forum at the end of last month that the nation’s first super-destroyer, of 186 meters long and 21 meters wide with a displacement of up to 12,300 tons, would soon be at sea to give a big lift to the People’s Liberation Army’s naval strength.
The 055 may be the only ship in any navy that can rival the US military’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Chinese news portal Sina quoted the expert as saying.
Arleigh Burke is the first class of destroyers in the US Navy, built around the Aegis Combat System. The hallmark of the mighty warship is its multi-mission capabilities to combine anti-aircraft warfare with surface-to-air missiles, anti-submarine warfare with anti-submarine rockets, and anti-surface and strategic land-strike missiles.
Firing Tomahawk cruise missiles from an Arleigh Burke destroyer far offshore against ground targets is usually a sign of Washington’s declaration of war.
Now it won’t be way off the mark to conclude that the 055-class destroyers are China’s equivalent to the Arleigh Burke ships.
Other than their stealth design and cutting-edge active electronically scanned array radar system – able to detect targets the size of a compact car 5,500 kilometers away – Type 055 destroyers’ multi-mission feature centers on three types of vertically launched missiles: HHQ-9B, HQ-26, and a Chinese version of America’s Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM).
HHQ-9B, an active radar-homing surface-to-air missile, has a range of 200km with enhanced ultra-low-altitude anti-ship attack capability.
A long-range HQ-26 is filed from a warship. Photo: PLA Daily
HQ-26, tailor-made for the 055 destroyers, is the Chinese equivalent of the US military’s SM-3 for naval deployment. As a variant of the long-range HQ-19, it is rumored that HQ-26 is also able to intercept medium-range missiles on the atmospheric fringe.
It can pierce through the nationwide anti-missile program the United States has had in development since the 1990s, according to Jane’s Defence Review.
The third type of missile, a Chinese version of the ESSM, can counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles and is small enough to be “quad-packed” and carried in a single cell of a launching system.
The Type 055 destroyers will constitute China’s first anti-missile and ship-to-ground combat platform, since the nation faces more missile threats both in the northeast and southeast, and as the PLA Navy believes it has to boost its sea-land attack capacity to match Japan’s Atago- and Kongo-class warships and respond to any emergencies in the South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Strait.
Original post: atimes.com
HQ-26 Anti-Ballistic Missile Interceptor
The HQ-9B, HQ-19 [THAAD counterpart], HQ-26 [SM-3 counterpart] and HQ-29 [PAC-3 counterpart] are designed primarily for Anti Ballistic Missile capabilities. While the HQ-9A air defense variant of the HQ-9 series is very well attested, the remaining theater missile defense interceptors are poorly attested, and verge on being little more than rumors.
Very little is known about this system, a Sea-based missile that uses a dual pulse motor, such as the motor M136 SM-3 or that of PAC-3 MSE. The certification is expected at the earliest in 2015 and it could equip Type 055 destroyer. Source: globalsecurity.org
There is very little information on the HQ-26 but there was an article published in 29 July, 2016 by South China Morning Post Why did China release rare videos of its successful anti-missile system tests? However, the video on the post was taken down.
A Chinese article published in February 2014 Bare the Mystery of China’s Anti-Missile Intercept System mentioned briefly about the HQ-26 as being similar to the HQ-19
"Foreign media believes that China’s development of the midcourse anti-missile technology aims mainly for national security instead of nuclear strategic balance. They believe that Chinese anti-ballistic missile system consists of 6 kinds of missiles: HQ-9B, HQ-19, HQ-26 (similar to ground-based Standard Missile 3), HQ-29 (similar to PAC-3), DN-1 and DN2 (similar to US GMD). There are three layers of defense. The first is midcourse interception mainly by DN series of missiles to intercept missiles outside the atmosphere. It is the key layer of China’s missile defense system. The second is a layer to intercept missile inside, outside or at the edge of the atmosphere. It mainly relied on HQ-19 and HQ-26 for missile interception. The third layer is the terminal stage interception layer that mainly uses HQ-9B and HQ-29 for interception at the terminal stage."
Launch of HQ-19 anti-missile intercept missile
Type 055 destroyer: Details