Crew of guided-missile destroyer commended

2024-01-09 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

CNS Nanchang, China's first Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, has been acclaimed for its outstanding performance in successfully completing more than 10 major missions over the past three years and proving its combat readiness.

Commissioned in 2020, the destroyer has logged over 100,000 nautical miles and engaged in confrontations with foreign vessels on multiple occasions, demonstrating its operational capabilities.

The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Sunday awarded the prestigious "Role Model of the Time" title to the Party committee of the Nanchang.

"Under the leadership of its Party committee, the crew of the Nanchang has set records in the history of the People's Liberation Army Navy and earned numerous accolades for its outstanding service," the department stated.

Developed by China State Shipbuilding Corp, the Type 055 is the nation's most powerful destroyer class, boasting a displacement exceeding 12,000 tons and armed with advanced air-defense, anti-missile, anti-ship, anti-submarine and land-attack weaponry.

The warship's 112 vertical launching cells can fire various missiles, including China's long-range cruise missiles. Its firepower is estimated to be double that of the previous flagship Type 052D destroyer.

Currently, eight Type 055 destroyers are in service, playing a crucial role in protecting China's aircraft carrier battle groups and bolstering the PLA Navy's capabilities.

Cao Weidong, a retired senior researcher at the PLA Naval Research Academy, said on Monday that the Type 055 has many advantages compared to previous Chinese destroyer classes.

"It is much bigger and heavier than all of its predecessors, which means it can carry a lot more weapons and munitions, it can operate in strong seas, and it can travel longer distances," Cao said.

"It is able to use more types of missiles. As a result it can carry out more kinds of combat operations, ranging from anti-ship and anti-aircraft tasks to strikes against land targets."

In addition, the Type 055 features an integrated information system, which bolsters its early-detection capabilities and allows it to handle sophisticated combat situations, according to Cao, who is now a commentator on Chinese military affairs.

"The Type 055 represents a great lead in our navy's modernization," he said. "Therefore it requires a great deal in terms of its crew's knowledge, capabilities and skills."

The crew of a Type 055 destroyer must be capable of making the best use of advanced hardware and their own skills, and must be good at working with other forces like an aircraft carrier, nuclear submarines, aircraft or ground forces, the researcher said.

"Moreover, they are also supposed to be multifunctional, so they can operate equipment other than their own in case of combat or emergencies," he added.

Song Zhongping, also a military affairs commentator and a retired PLA officer, said that the Nanchang was the first in the Type 055 family so its crew must have encountered a large number of technical and operational challenges.

"They were the first to use such an advanced, state-of-the-art naval platform and their operations, to some extent, have been of an experimental nature," he said. "Their experiences have proved to be very valuable because these helped later Type 055 ships gain operational capabilities and also in the research and development of the Type 055's upgraded variants."

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