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China launches two more Type 055 guided missile destroyers

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The new Type 055 guided-missile destroyers at the Dalian Shipyard. A China Daily photo

BEIJING (BNS): China has launched two more of its newest and largest guided-missile destroyers under the ‘Type 055’ programme.

The third and fourth platforms of the class were launched at the Dalian shipyard in the Liaoning Province of China on July 3, a China Daily report said.

The first platform of the class was launched in June 2017 followed by the second one in April this year.

The powerful surface combat ship with a displacement of over 10,000-ton being built indigenously is capable of carrying over 100 anti-ship, anti-air and ship-to-ground attack cruise missiles, according to reports.

The new Type 055 destroyers are likely to be used to escort indigenous aircraft carriers of the PLA Navy (PLAN) which are going to be inducted in service in the coming years.

“Type 055 is China's newest generation of guided-missile destroyers. It has a displacement greater than 10,000 metric tons and will be equipped with new types of air defence, missile defence and anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons,” according to the PLA Navy.

Each warship has 112 vertical launching cells that can fire various kinds of missiles, including China's long-range land-attack cruise missile. Its firepower is thought to be twice that of the Type 052D, the largest and most powerful surface combatant commissioned in the PLA Navy, the China Daily report said.

The lead ship of the class is expected to begin sea trials in 2019 before being commissioned into service.

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