China deploys Type 22 missile boat in South China Sea

According to information published by Asia Times on April 10, 2021, it seems Type 022 fast-attack catamarans are now being used in a more expeditionary role, which could have major strategic implications for the South China Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Type 22 (Houbei class) cruise missile boat is a ship class in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. (Picture source: Handout)

It is not clear where these fast-attack missile craft operated by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fast-attack are operating from and whether any examples are now permanently or semi-permanently deployed at outposts in the South China Sea.

Last November, “multiple” Type 022s took part in Chinese maritime maneuvers in the South China Sea, together with three Type 071 amphibious assault ships.

The Type 22 missile boat is a ship class in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. The first boat was launched in April 2004 by the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard at Shanghai. The boats incorporate stealth features and are based on Australian-designed wave-piercing catamaran hulls that are more stable than other fast missile craft in high sea conditions. 82 of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas having been produced over a span of seven years.

Each boat boasts eight launchers for YJ-83 subsonic anti-ship missiles and a fast-firing 30mm H/PJ-13 Gatling gun on the bow to engage aerial targets and provide fire support.

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