|A CGI rendition of the Type 052D DDG|
The Chinese Navy appears to be developing a brand new type of guided-missile destroyer (DDG) and could be producing several hulls simultaneously, a development that could further tip the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait.
Images have emerged on Chinese military Web sites in recent weeks that seem to confirm the long-rumored development of the Type 052D destroyer, which some analysts are comparing to Aegis-equipped destroyers in the US Navy. More recently, two hulls were pictured at China State Shipbuilding Corp’s Jiangnan Changxing shipyard near Shanghai earlier this month.
The first “dock launch” occurred yesterday. According to China military watchers, as many as 10 Type 052D DDGs could be under construction. If true, this would be a departure from past practice for Chinese shipbuilders, which usually develop one or two hulls and launch a series of tests before entering mass production.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.