The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has commissioned the fourth new Type 052D destroyer this year, the Kaifeng, it was revealed for the first time last month in an official statement introducing a recent drill by the ship amid the celebrations of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) centennial.
Under the leadership of the CPC, the country’s shipbuilding industry has developed rapidly and led to commissioning of many warships in the first half this year alone, with even more to come in the second half, analysts said on Sunday.
Immediately after the grand celebration ceremony of the CPC’s 100th anniversary held in Beijing on Thursday, troops of the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet began to study the Party spirit from the event and vowed to strengthen the military and win battles by training and practicing for combat, according to a statement released on the fleet’s WeChat account on Friday.
As a part of the efforts, the warship Kaifeng set sail and held a combat scenario exercise in an undisclosed body of water, the statement said.
Photos attached to the statement show that the Kaifeng is a Type 052D destroyer with the hull number 124. It conducted training exercises including live-fire shooting of the main gun and the close-in weapons system, the takeoff and landing of the vessel-based helicopters and light arms shooting at sea.
This is the first time the Kaifeng has been seen featured in an official report engaged in a maritime exercise, and this indicates that the warship has entered service with the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet and is generating operational capability very fast, observers said.
The Kaifeng appears to be the fourth Type 052D to enter PLA naval service in 2021, following the Suzhou, the Huainan and the Nanning, according to media reports. The PLA Navy has also commissioned two Type 055 large destroyers this year, the Lhasa and the Dalian, in addition to the Type 075 amphibious assault ship Hainan and the Type 09IV nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Changzheng 18.
Since China has launched several more warships which are in the process of outfitting, the PLA Navy will likely continue to receive delivery of warships in the second half of the year, the expert predicted.
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