China could have started construction of the Type 055 missile cruiser and future US destroyer construction

China’s type 055 cruisers will have a length of 160-180 meters, a width of 21-23 meters, and displace between 12,000-14,000 tons. It could carry at least 112 to 128 vertical launch systems (VLS) cells for missiles. With that amount of firepower, the Type 055 cruiser could exceed the 122 VLS cells of the USN’s Ticonderoga class Aegis Cruisers.

Navy Recognition shows a picture that was taken last week at the Changxing Jiangnan shipyard (member of CSSC – China State Shipbuilding Corporation) near Shanghai. It shows a sign with the mention “Commencement Ceremony for the Construction of 055 destroyer number 1”. Such ceremonies are common practice in Chinese naval shipyards and should the picture be authentic, this would indicate that construction of the first Type 055 destroyer has indeed just started with the first cut of steel ceremony.

The LUYANG III DDG and Type 055 CG will be fitted with a variant of China’s newest ASCM, the YJ-18 (290 nautical mile range), which is a significant step forward in China’s surface ASUW capability. Older Chinese surface combatants carry variants of the YJ-8A ASCM (65nm), while newer surface combatants such as the LUYANG II DDG are fitted with the YJ-62 (120nm).

The USA built 27 Ticonderoga class cruisers from 1980-1993 22 of the cruisers are still active.

The USA was going to build CGX cruisers based upon the Zumwalt Destroyer. However, that program was cancelled in 2010.

It is anticipated that in FY2012 or FY2013, the U.S. Navy will commence detailed work for a Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers designs and requested 24 ships to be built from 2016 to 2031. In May 2013, a total of 77 Burke-class ships was planned. The Flight III variant was in the design phase as of 2013. In June 2013, the U.S. Navy awarded $6.2 billion in destroyer contracts. Up to 42 Flight III ships may be procured by the U.S. Navy with the first ship entering service in 2023.

In April 2014, the U.S. Navy began the early stages of developing a new destroyer to replace the Arleigh Burke–class called the “Future Surface Combatant”. The new class is expected to enter service in the early 2030s and initially serve alongside the 22 Flight III DDGs. No hull design or shape has been speculated yet, although the destroyer class will incorporate emerging technologies like lasers, on-board power-generation systems, increased automation, and next-generation weapons, sensors, and electronics.

Arleigh Burke destroyer in 2011

SOURCES – Wikipedia, Popular Science, Navy Recognition