January 12th, 2015 defencetalk.com
The U.S. media recently reported that the new type-055 guided missile destroyer of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) and the U.S. Aegis warship are on a par with each other in terms of power and strength and that the type-055 destroyer is one of the five weapons China might use to change rules of the game in the future.
However, Yin Zhuo, a Chinese military expert, said in an interview that the so-called type-055 destroyer is not the world’s largest guided missile destroyer and speculation that it will change the rules of the game is just an exaggeration.
Previously, U.S. media reported that the PLAN’s type-055 destroyer has a displacement of 10,000 tons and can carry 128 anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and ship-to-ground attack cruise missiles. It can be even equipped with electromagnetic guns and laser weapons. The type-055 destroyer is able to carry out in-depth strikes through cruise missiles and also protect its taskforce through the control of airspace.
The U.S. media even believed that judging from its huge volume, strong arm system and advanced sensing equipment, the type-055 destroyer will meet or exceed the capability of “Aegis” destroyer which is current deployed by the U.S. and its allies in the Pacific.
Yin Zhuo said that the type-055 destroyer is not the world’s largest destroyer. In terms of tonnage, although the type-055 has a lot of advantages over the type-052C and the type-052D, it is certainly not the largest destroyer in the world.
Currently, the displacement of Russia’s Modern-class destroyer and Udaloy-class destroyer has reached 8,000 to 9,000 tons. The displacement of Japan’s Atago-class destroyer is over 9,000 tons and the U.S. DDG-1000 destroyer has a displacement of 12,000 tons.
The Type 055 destroyer can in no way change the rules of the game in the future.
Yin argued that “the interpretation of the type-055 new missile destroyer by Western media was excessive. Since the World War II, the emergence of nuclear weapons transformed conventional war into nuclear war; the emergence of the aircraft carrier has shifted the leading role in water battle from fleet to aviation personnel. These two forms of weapons have changed the war significantly. At present, relying solely on the destroyer could not change the rules of war. Even the DDG-1000 destroyer of the U.S. cannot change that.”
Some Western media reported that the type-055 destroyer might have some new operational capabilities and it has the ability to attack air, land and other ships. These are important to improving the capability of the PLAN.
Yin Zhuo believed that the type-055 destroyer is equivalent to the U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer or Japan’s Atago-class destroyer. The type-055 destroyer is equipped with digital phased radar, similar to the U.S. and Japanese destroyers at the technical level. Meanwhile, the type-055 destroyer has large tonnage and thus can carry more weapons. If the Western media is correct, its payload will be about one hundred pieces.
Yin Zhuo also expressed that the type-055 destroyer might welcome a new power system. If the warship is equipped with new-concept weapons, a whole dynamic electric power system commanded by computers will be introduced. Because launching new-concept weapons including laser weapons and electromagnetic guns requires enormous energy within a short period of time. Using digital all-electric propulsion will be a revolutionary change for the PLAN.