Type 051C (NATO codename: Luzhou class) is an air-defence guided missile destroyer, utilising the Russian-made S-300FM regional air-defence missile system controlled by the Volna (‘Tomb Stone’) 3D phased-array radar. Only two hulls have been built before the destroyer was succeeded by the more advanced Type 052C/D with indigenous SAM system.
Type 051C was built by Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province for the PLA Navy. The first-of-class, DDG-115 Shenyang was launched in December 2004 and completed its system installation in late 2005. The sea trial began in early 2006 and the ship was commissioned in October 2006. The second hull DDG-116 Shijiazhuang was launched in 2005 and commissioned in March 2007. Both hulls are deployed by the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet from its Qingdao naval base.
Type 051C was designed primarily for fleet air defence role, but it also retains reasonable anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities. The destroyer appears to be based on the same hull design as Type 051B (Luhai class) introduced in the late 1990s, with a standard displacement of 6,500 tonnes. The destroyer is powered by steam turbine propulsion, indicating China’s continuing restraint on the gas turbine technology. The ship has a helicopter flight deck on the stern but does not have a hangar.
Like most Chinese-built destroyers introduced after the 1990s, Type 051C was only built in a small quantity to test the ship’s design and technologies. The most noticeable feature of Type 051C is its Russian-built S-300FM Fort-M (SS-N-20) air-defence missile system. As shown in its land-based equivalent S-300PMU, the S-300FM was proven to be highly effective against airborne targets and was found on all Soviet/Russian cruisers built after 1980. China ordered two sets of the S-300FM/Fort-M system from Russia in 2002.
S-300FM Rif-M Missile System
An S-300FM missile complex consists of six large-size revolver vertical launching systems (VLS), each housing eight ready-to-launch missiles. Two revolver VLS are installed underneath the bow deck behind the main gun, and four inside the aft deckhouse on the stern ahead of the helicopter flight deck, carrying a total of 48 missiles. The S-300FM Fort-M (SA-N-20) missile system uses the 48N6 missile, which employs the track-via-missile (TVM) technology. First introduced in 1990, the missile is capable of engaging airborne targets at a range of 5—150 km and an altitude between 10 m and 27 km.
The ship’s surface-to-surface fire-power comprises eight indigenous YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. The missile system has eight box launchers (in two groups, each with 4 launchers). The missile uses active radar homing and is powered by a turbojet (with a solid rocket booster). The anti-ship missile has a range of 120 km and approaches the target in sea skimming mode at a speed of Mach 0.9. The 165 kg shaped charge warhead has time delayed impact proximity fuses.
For short-range air defence, the Type 051C destroyer is fitted with two indigenous Type 730 seven-barrel close-in weapon system (CIWS) located in the mid-ship position on either side of the rear mast. The Type 730 system has a maximum rate of fire of 4,600~5,800 rounds/min and a maximum range of 3km.
The ship also has a H/PJ-87 single-barrel 100-mm main gun, which can be used against surface targets and air targets such as aircraft and low speed missile, with a maximum rate of fire of 90 rounds/min. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually. The turret design incorporates strong radar cross-section reduction features.
The ship is fitted with two triple 324-mm torpedo launchers, which is used to launch the Yu-7 (copy of the U.S. Mk46 Mod1) anti-submarine torpedo. The Yu-7 carries a 45 kg to engage underwater target at a speed of 43 knots, and has a maximum range of 7.3 km.
The S-300FM missile is guided by the Volna (NATO codename: ‘Tomb Stone’) 3D phased-array target tracking radar installed on top of the stern deckhouse. The radar can direct 12 missiles to engage 6 targets simultaneously. Since two radars are required to give 360° coverage (as, for example, in the Russian Kirov class cruiser), this means that there is a blind gap on Type 051C in full SAM cover in the forward quadrant, resulting in a major tactical restriction.
The air search radar is a Fregat-MAE-5 (NATO reporting name: ‘Top Plate’) 3D air search radar mounted at the top of the rear mast, offering two channels in E-band. The radar can track up to 40 targets simultaneously, and has a maximum range of 120km to aircraft and 50km to sea-skimming missile.
There is also a large round radome mounted at the top of the front mast, housing a Type 364 (SR64) surface search radar.
A large round radome installed on top of the bridge houses the Mineral-ME (NATO reporting name: ‘Band Stand’) radar that provides anti-ship missile control and over-the-horizon radar acquisition and target designation of surface ships.
There are two indigenous Type 347G (EFR-1) I-band radars integrated with the Type 730 CIWS to provide fire-control.
The Type 051C destroyer has two Type 726-4 18-barrelled chaff/flare decoy launchers installed at the mid-ship position. Active ECM system include the interceptor and jammer.
The Type 051C destroyer has helicopter flight deck on the stern, but does not have a helicopter hangar.
Displacement:......6,500 t (standard); 7,100 t (full load) Length:............155 m Beam:..............17 m Draft:.............6 m Speed..............29 knots Range:.............6,500 nm @ 15 knots Crew:..............N/A
|Shenyang||115||Dalian||North Sea||28 Dec 2004||Oct 2006||–|
|Shijiazhuang||116||Dalian||North Sea||2005||Mar 2007||–|