Chinese Yuan Wang class tracking ship visits Sri Lanka despite India's objections

According to information published by The Diplomat on August 3, 2022, a Chinese Yuan Wang class tracking ship that is heading to Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka could roil India-Sri Lanka relations again.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Chinese Yuan Wang 5 class tracking ship (Picture source: Chinese MoD)

China has been a continuing source of military equipment to Sri Lanka, and is helping to modernize and expand the Sri Lanka Armed Forces. Chinese nuclear submarines have made several visits to Sri Lanka in September and November 2014, despite strong displeasure from the Indian government.

The Yuan Wang class is used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

It is important to note that Yuanwang class is not a single class of identical design, but instead, a group of different designs grouped under the same series that share the one name.

The detailed specifications for every ship are not released by the PLASSF. Yuanwang 1 and Yuanwang 2 are thought to have a displacement tonnage of around 21,000 tons when fully loaded, with a crew of about 470 and a length of about 190 meters (620 ft). Their propulsion is from one Sulzer Ltd. diesel engine, with a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h).

Yuan Wang 5 is the third generation tracking ship of Yuan Wang series, and entered service on 29 September 2007. Built by Jiangnan Shipyard, Yuan Wang 5 has a displacement of 25,000 tones and withstands wind scale up to 12, and perform duties in sea state 6.

The general designer of both Yuan Wang 5 & 6 is Mr. Huang Wei, the general engineer of the 701st Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

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