China's fourth Type 052D guided-missile destroyer — Chengdu — has been launched by the PLA Navy, reports China's Global Times.
The Type 052D is one of the most powerful naval combat systems in PLA Navy service. A modified version of its predecessor, the Type 052C, the Type 052D adds a new 130mm main gun, equipping it with both sea-to-air and sea-to-land attack capabilities. It also has the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system.
The Chengdu is the 10th Chinese surface combat vessel to be referred as the "Chinese Aegis." With AESA radar and a 64-cell vertical launching system, the destroyer is comparable to Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the US Navy. It also boasts advanced weapons systems such as HQ-9 long-range air defense missiles and DH-10 cruise missiles.
The nation's first Type 052D destroyer — Kunming — has completed a test of its propulsion systems in the East China Sea, according to the report.
China is now capable of deploying between two and three advanced surface combat ships while Japan is limited to one. In addition, China is designing a new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer comparable to the US Zumwalt-class. Equipped with a railgun and HQ-26 surface-to-air missiles, the Type 055 will serve as PLA Navy's main surface combat ship between 2020 and 2030.http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20131121000114