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24 June


China put into operation two new destroyers 052D

Currently, the country has 20 ships of this type in service

Photo: SCMP

/NOVOSTIVL/ China has launched two new Type 052D guided-missile destroyers as it continues its push to upgrade its naval power. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

However, some analysts now believe that the pace of shipbuilding will slow as the People’s Liberation Army starts to place more emphasis on training and personnel.

The two new warships were launched at the Dalian shipyard in northeast China last Friday, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported.

"China now has 20 Type 052Ds either in active service or being fitted out for service soon," the report said, adding that the vessels are a significant upgrade on their predecessors, the Type 052C.

Hong Kong-based military analyst Song Zhongping said the PLA also needed to handle the practical challenge of retiring its older warships, such as the Type 051 destroyer, older Type 053 frigates and Type 037 corvettes.

According to PLA sources, the Type 052C and Type 052D will become the mainstays of China’s destroyer fleet, but there is still a gap between their capabilities and those of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.