|In late 2002 China began construction of a new frigate, the Type 054 (NATO Codename JIANGKAI I). The first ship was No. 525 Ma'anshan, and the first captain of this first ship of the class is Commander Wang Xianzhong (王獻忠). The Type 054 has now been superseded by the more capable Type 054A frigate. |
The Type 054 is successor to the Jiangwei and Jianghu class frigates of the People's Liberation Army Navy. It has been compared to the French La Fayette class frigate. The 4,000 ton (estimated) Type 054 incorporates many stealth features: sloped hull design; radar absorbent materials; and reduction of surface equipment and features.
The main weapon is two four-cell launchers with the YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. It also has an eight-cell launcher with the HQ-7 SAM, which is an improved version of the French Crotale missile. The HQ-7 system has 8 ready to fire missiles, plus 16 stored in the automatic reloader. There is a helicopter flight deck at the stern. It also has a 100 mm main gun and four AK-630 CIWS turrets.
In April 2002, the Franco-German company SEMT Pielstick announced that China had licensed 8 x Type 16 PA6 STC marine diesel engines for 2 new frigates. These 8 engines were built under licensed by Shaanxi Diesel Engine Works, and used to equip the 2 Type 054 Frigates, #525 Ma'anshan, and #526 Wenzhou. Other initial reports claim that the ships were powered by 2 x 16 PA STC + 2 x MTU 20V 956TB92 diesels, or possibly even 4 x 16 PA STC + 2 x MTU 20V 956TB92.