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China commissions sophisticated naval reconnaissance ship

BEIJING (PTI): China's Navy has commissioned a sophisticated electronic reconnaissance ship, capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock observation on multiple targets, the latest addition to Beijing's expanding fleet amid tensions over its assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels, the state-run China Daily newspaper said today.

In a rare move, PLA Navy media outlet made public the composition of the nation's electronic intelligence fleet comprising of six ships, including the new one.

The new ship CNS Kaiyangxing, or Mizar, with hull code 856, was delivered to a combat support flotilla of the North Sea Fleet on Tuesday morning in Qingdao, Shandong province, the daily reported.

The Kaiyangxing is capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets, the daily quoted an official PLA Navy media adding that the ship is so sophisticated that only a few countries, such as the US and Russia, are capable of developing it.

As per the details released, the PLA Navy now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels - Beijixing (Polaris), Tianwangxing (Uranus), Tianlangxing (Sirius), Haiwangxing (Neptune), Kaiyangxing (Mizar) and another whose name has not been revealed and is only known by its hull code of 855.

The report also gave specific information about the ships such as their capabilities and functions. Until now, the PLA Navy has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships.

The Kaiyangxing is a Type 815A electronic reconnaissance ship, which has a full displacement of 6,000 metric tons and a maximum speed of 20 knots, or 37 kilometers per hour, according to the Modern Navy report, which added that it is equipped with three small-caliber naval guns.

An expert from China's shipbuilding industry said US Navy deploys at least 15 intelligence collection ships, while China still lags behind in this regard.

"The fact that we are facing an increasing number of difficulties when we safeguard our maritime interests means that we require more reconnaissance ships to support the PLA Navy's operations on the open sea," the unnamed expert told the Daily.

"In addition, our future carrier battle groups also need such vessels that can provide various kinds of theatre intelligence," he said.

In 2016, the PLA Navy commissioned a total of 18 ships, including a Type 052D guided missile destroyer, three Type 054A guided missile frigates and six Type 056 corvettes.

These ships have a total displacement of 150,000 tonnes, roughly half of the overall displacement of the Royal Navy.

China is now building a domestically designed aircraft carrier in Dalian, Liaoning province in addition to the first one whose hull was built in earnest while Soviet Union.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the new carrier will have a displacement of 50,000 tonnes and will deploy domestically developed J-15 fighter jets.


China  Navy  Ship   Beijing  PLA  Military  

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