Chinese Navy 's second Type 055 large destroyer enters naval service

According to information published by Global Times on March 7, 2021, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently commissioned its second 10,000 ton-class Type 055 large destroyer after the first ship in its class entered service in early 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 055 large destroyer Lhasa (Picture source: Twitter account of Casus Belli)

The commissioning of the Type 055 guided missile destroyers, marks the strategic development transformation of the PLA Navy, and will enable the service to better safeguard China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, analysts said.

A Type 055 large destroyer named after Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, recently made its first public appearance at a naval base in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province.

This makes the Lhasa the second Type 055 destroyer that has entered service with the PLA Navy, CCTV said, noting that the first one is the Nanchang, which has the hull number 101 and was commissioned on January 12, 2020, also in Qingdao.

The Lhasa boasts the hull number 102, according to video footage released by Passion News, a media outlet under, a news portal run by the Chinese Communist Youth League Central Committee, which showed the interior of the Lhasa when Zheng Weiguo, deputy mayor of Lhasa, visited the ship in the namesake of the city on Tuesday.

Since the Lhasa made its debut in Qingdao, it is likely that the warship is affiliated with the PLA Northern Theater Command Navy, Shanghai-based news website reported on Sunday.

Chinese naval expert Li Jie told the Global Times that Type 055s are expected to accompany aircraft carriers and act as powerful escorts, or they can lead task group without a carrier and conduct a wide range of missions.

China now operates two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, with the third under construction, so more Type 055 destroyers are needed to form carrier combat groups, analysts said.

The remaining six Type 055s are being outfitted or are in sea trials. They are expected to be commissioned in about one to two years, according to the pattern of warship construction, analysts said.

With a displacement of more than 12,000 tons, the Type 055 is a guided missile destroyer about 180 meters long, 22 meters wide and has a whopping 112 vertical launch missile cells capable of launching a combination of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, land-attack missiles and anti-submarine missiles, and the warship is also endowed with the capability to gain strong situational awareness, the report said.

The Type 055 destroyer can also counter stealth aircraft and low-Earth orbit satellites, thanks to a dual-band radar system.

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