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Jiangwei Class (Type 053H2G) Missile Frigate
Jiangwei-II Class (Type 053H3) Missile Frigate
The Type 053H2G (NATO codename: Jiangwei class) is the multirole missile frigate introduced in the early 1990s by the PLA Navy as the successor to the obsolete Jianghu class frigate. From the fifth ship of the class, the frigate was upgraded to the Type 053H3 (NATO codename: Jiangwei-II class) with improved weapon systems and sensors. A total of 12 ships have been delivered to the PLA Navy since 1992. The Jiangwei class provides the PLA Navy with a cost efficient solution to replace the bulk of older warships in its surface fleet.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Hudong Shipyard (now part of Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard) began to build four Type 052H2G missile frigates for the PLA Navy in the late 1980s. The existence of the project was first confirmed in the early 1990s by Western intelligence, and the frigate was codenamed as Jiangwei class. Historically Chinese-built surface combatants are strong in surface strike firepower but weak in air defence and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. The Jiangwei class, featuring the improved air defence weapon and radar systems and shipborne helicopter, is the first real ‘multirole’ frigates deployed by the PLA Navy.
A total of four ships (539~542) were built under the Type 053H2G standard between 1988 and 1991, with the last ship commissioned in July 1994. Since 1996 the Type 052H2G has been replaced by the more capable Type 053H3 (NATO codename: Jiangwei-II class) design, starting from the fifth Jiangwei class 521 Jiaxing. Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou also joined the production of the Type 053H3 in the late 1990s. So far a total of 10 ships of the Jiangwei-II class have been built by the two shipyards (521~524, 527~528, 564~567). The last three ships 567, 527 and 528 are slightly different from previous ships in weapon systems and sensors. Early ships of the Jiangwei-II class are being upgraded to the latest standard.
The Jiangwei class is well competent for a range of missions in offshore waters including surface strike, antisubmarine warfare, costal patrol, fire support, and other general duties. Despite being described as modest in term of technology and capability, the Jiangwei class frigate is still regarded to be a highly successful design by the PLA Navy. A Jiangwei class frigate only costs half as much as a Type 052 (Luhu class) destroyer, but its combat effectiveness is said be about 70%~80% of the latter. The excellent performance-price ratio made the frigate a low cost, yet effective solution to supplement bigger, more sophisticated warships in combat.
Type 053H2G/Jangwei class (4 ships)
Type 053H3/Jangwei-II class (10 ships)
*Ex-597 built for Pakistani Navy
The Jiangwei class has a similar hull design to the later variants of the Jianghu class frigate. The hull has an overall length of 112 metres and a beam of 12.4 metres. The ship has full load displacement of 2,180 tonnes (2,250 tonnes for Jiangwei-II class). The maximum speed is 26~27 knots. The frigate has a helicopter hanger and flight deck on the stern deck to accommodate a Harbin Z-9C helicopter.
The Type 053H2G has two 3-cell launchers to fire the YJ-8 (C-801) anti-ship missile. The missile uses active radar homing and is powered by a solid rocket engine (with a solid rocket booster). The YJ-8 has a range of 42km and approaches the target in sea skimming mode at a speed of Mach 0.9. The 165kg shaped charge warhead has time delayed impact proximity fuses.
The Type 053H3 has two 4-cell launchers to fire the improved YJ-83 (C-803) anti-ship missile. The missile is said to have a maximum range of 150km and a final approach speed of Mach 1.5.
The Type 053H2G’s surface-to-air missile system is the semi-active radar-homing HQ-61B developed by Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST). A bulk six-cell launcher is installed on the bow deck behind the twin-100mm main gun. The missile has a range of 12km and uses semi-active radar/optical homing to deliver a 14kg fragmentation warhead. The reloading mechanism is manually operated.
The Type 053H3 has been upgraded with an 8-cell HQ-7 semi-active, radar-homing air defence missile system. The missile has an extended range of 13km. The speed is Mach 2.4 and the warhead is 14kg. The system has 8 ready-to-fire missiles and 8 spare missiles, but the reloading mechanism is operated manually.
The Type 053H2G's main gun installed on the bow deck is the manual Type 79A dual-100mm/56 calibre gun which fires 15kg rounds at a rate of 18 rounds/min. The range of the gun is more than 22km against surface targets. On the Type 053H3 this has been replaced by the automatic PJ33A dual-100 mm/56 calibre gun.
Starting with 567 the frigate is updated with a new dual-100mm gun design derived from the PJ33A. The gun features a stealthy turret and possibly improved performance as well. More ships are being upgraded with this new gun.
Four Type 76A dual-37 mm anti-aircraft guns fire shells at a rate of 400 rounds/min to a range of 9.4km for airborne targets.
The ship has two 6-tubed Type 3200 antisubmarine rocket launchers located on the bow deck with
36 rockets. The rocket has a 34kg warhead and a maximum range of 1,200m. Other ASW system includes two depth charge racks.
Type 360 (SR60)
Type 517H-1 Knife Rest
2D long-range air search
Type 342 Frog Lamp *
HQ-61 SAM fire-control
Type 343 Wasp Head *
100mm gun fire-control
Type 345 (MR35)**
HQ-7 SAM and 100mm gun fire-control
Type 352 Square Tie**
Surface search and SSM targeting
Type 347G (EFR-1) Rice Lamp
37mm AAA fire-control
Racal Decca RM-1290
* Type 053H2G (Jiangwei class) only ** Type 053H3 (Jiangwei-II class) only
The ship's electronic warfare suite include the RWD-8 Jug Pair intercept, Type 981-3 jammer, SR-210 radar
warning receiver, Type 651A IFF, and two Mk-36RBOC 6-barrel chaff/decoy rocket launchers (two indigenous Type 946/PJ-46 15-barrel launchers on the Jiangwei-II class).
The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for a medium size helicopter, such as the Eurocopter AS 365 Panther or its Chinese copy Harbin Z-9C. The deck is fitted with the helicopter handling system. A fully equipped hangar accommodates one helicopter.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
The frigate has a Thomson-CSF TAVITAC
(or its Chinese copy ZKJ-4B/6) combat data system to integrate various
weapons and sensors onboard. The system is said to be capable of
tracking and processing several hundred targets simultaneously.
The frigate is powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement, with two 18E390VA diesels rated at 14,000
hp (17.6 kW) and two MTU diesels rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW). Two shafts drive controllable pitch propellers. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 26~27 knots and, at a economical speed of 15 knots, the range is 5,000 nautical miles.