China Defense Blog has republished a series of photos depicting life on one of China’s most modern ships. The photos show a world not too different from western navies, albeit with more spartan living conditions.
Hefei, a Type 052D guided missile destroyer, is roughly the equivalent of the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Displacing 7,000 tons, Hefei has a Type 346 phased-array radar system for detecting aerial threats. It’s equipped with 64 HQ-9 “Red Banner” missiles, roughly comparable to the SM-2 standard surface-to-air missile system, eight YJ-62 anti-ship missiles, a single 130-millimeter dual purpose ship gun, two close-in weapon systems, and six anti-submarine torpedoes. The ship also embarks a single Harbin Z-9 helicopter and has a crew of approximately 280.
Hefei is the third ship in her class, the first type of Chinese destroyers capable of providing fleet air defense. The 052D class destroyers would provide anti-air protection for China’s aircraft carriers—of which one is in service and at least one more is under construction—and its amphibious task forces. Life on board the Hefei looks similar to life on board U.S. Navy ships and is a visible improvement over past living spaces. As China grows more wealthy, potential Chinese sailors are accustomed to a higher standard of living, meaning the People’s Liberation Army Navy has had to step up its accommodations game.
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