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First escort mission for Chinese Navy Changsha 173 Type 052D destroyer in the Gulf of Aden

According to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Defense (MoD) on January 16, 2021, the 37th fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Saturday, January 16, 2021, left the port city of Sanya in south China's Hainan Province for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.


According to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Defense (MoD) on January 16, 2021, the 37th fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Saturday, January 16, 2021, left the port city of Sanya in south China's Hainan Province for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Chinese Navy Changsha (173) Type 052D Luyang III-class destroyer. (Picture source Sino Defence website)


The fleet is composed of the guided-missile destroyer Changsha, the missile frigate Yulin, and supply ship Honghu. On board the warships are 700 officers and soldiers, including dozens of special operation troops.

The PLA Navy began to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia in December 2008. It is the first time for the Changsha to join the escort mission.

The Changsha (173) is a Type 052D (Luyang III-class) destroyer in service the People's Liberation Army Navy. She was commissioned on 12 August 2015.  The ship is equipped with advanced radar and two 64-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) able to fire HHQ-9 SAM surface-to-air missile, YJ-18 SSM surface-to-surface missile, and CY-5 ASW anti-submarine missile. She is also armed with one 130 mm naval gun, one HQ-10 short-range surface-to-air missile SAM 24-cell launcher, and one Type 730 CIWS Close-In Weapon System 30mm Gatling gun.

The Yulin 569 is Type 054A (NATO codename Jiangkai II) multi-role frigate armed with HQ-16 medium-range air defense missiles and anti-submarine missiles in a vertical launching system (VLS) system.

The Honghu (Hull 963) is a Type 903 replenishment ship that entered into service with the Chinese Navy in July 2016. It can carry 10,500 tons of fuel oil, 250 tons of fresh water, 680 tons of cargo, and ammunition.