The Type 054A (Nato reporting name: Jiangkai-II) Class of missile frigates are being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard and Huangpu Shipyard for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
The new-generation multi-mission frigate, derived from the Type 054 (Jiangkai Class), integrates advanced weapons and sensor systems. The first frigate in class, Xuzhou (530), was commissioned into service in January 2008 and the last ship entered into service in 2015.
China offered the sale of three Type 054A frigates to Thailand in 2013 but lost to South Korea, which offered its modified Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers.
The Ministry of Defence Production of Pakistan signed a contract with China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) in 2017 to acquire two Type 054A warships for the Pakistan Navy. The contract for an additional two ships was signed in June 2018. The delivery of all four frigates is expected to be completed by 2021.
A total of 30 Type 054A frigates were built during 2008 and 2019.
Type 054A design and features
The stealthy hull design of the Type 054A features sloped sides and reduced superstructure for minimising the radar cross-section. Designed primarily for anti-air warfare, the frigates are also equipped to conduct anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions.
The Type 054A has a length of 134m and a beam of 16m. The standard displacement is 3,600t, while the full displacement is approximately 4,000t. Each vessel can complement a crew of 165.
Type 054A missiles
The Type 054A is armed with HQ-16 medium-range surface-air missiles fired from 32-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) developed by Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC). The HQ-16 missile can engage aerial targets from all angles up to a range of 50km. The VLS is also expected to launch an anti-submarine missile.
The primary Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) system of the Type 054A is the YJ-83 (C-803) sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. The missile is launched by two quadruple launchers mounted at the mid-ship position. The YJ-83 missile can carry a 165kg conventional warhead to an operational range of 250km.
Naval gun systems and ASW weapons
The main gun fitted on the bow deck is a single-barrel 76mm gun. The frigate is armed with two indigenous Type 730 seven-barrel 30mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for close-point defence against aerial threats. The CIWS can fire 4,600 to 5,800 rounds per minute for a maximum range of 3,000m.
The anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities are provided by two Type 87 six-tube ASW rocket launchers and tow 324mm YU-7 ASW torpedo launchers. Each rocket has a 34kg warhead and can strike under-water targets within the range of 1,200m.
The stern helicopter deck features a single landing spot for supporting the missions of a medium-size helicopter. The helideck is fitted with helicopter handling system and can accommodate a Kamov Ka-28 Helix or a Harbin Z-9C helicopter.
Sensors and radars aboard the Type 054A frigate
The Type 054A frigate is equipped with Type 382 3D air / surface search radar, MR-36A surface search radar and two Racal RM-1290 navigation radars, operating in I-band. The 3D search radar can simultaneously track up to 40 targets within the maximum range of 120km.
The Type 344 (Mineral-ME Band Stand) radar above the bridge provides ship-ship missile control, over-the-horizon radar acquisition and target designation of surface vessels, while four Type 345 (Nato reporting name: MR-90 Front Dome) F-band radars provide two channels to guide two air defence missiles simultaneously.
The ship is also fitted with TR47C and Type 347G fire control radars for the CIWS and 76mm main gun. The frigate is also equipped with MGK-335 medium-frequency active / passive sonar system integrating Bull Horn active and Whale Tongue passive hull-mounted search and attack sonar.
The countermeasures are provided by two 18-tube multiple rocket launchers capable of firing decoys / chaffs. Other electronic warfare systems include Type 922-1 radar warning receiver and HZ-100 Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system.
The combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system integrates four SEMT Pielstick (now MAN Diesel) 16 PA6V-280 STC diesel engines produced locally under license at Shaanxi Diesel Factory. Each engine, with sustained power of 4,720kW (6,330hp), provides a total power output of 18,880kW (25,320hp). The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 27k and a range of more than 8,000nmi.