Updated 11:48 PM EDT, Sat, Mar 28, 2020

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China Still Mass Producing One Type 056 Corvette Every Two Months


(Photo : PLAN) CNS Liupanshui.

CNS Liupanshui (514), the newest Type 056A Jiangdao-class corvette of the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force (PLANSF), has joined the South Sea Fleet and will conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) against U.S. Navy submarines in the South China Sea.

Liupanshui is equipped with towed and variable depth sonars for ASW operations. The absence of an ASW helicopter aboard the Liupanshui and the other ships in her sub-class, however, seriously degrades their ASW capability.

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Liupanshui was commissioned into the PLAN on March 31 at Yulin naval base in the port city of Sanya on Hainan Island. The ASW variant of the Type 056 corvette is designated Type 056A.

Liupanshui is armed with four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles (two launchers with two missiles each); a 76 mm main gun and two 324 mm triple torpedo launchers.

A total of six Type 056 corvettes joined PLAN in 2016. PLAN is building one corvette every six weeks in a bid to hastily reinforce its surface fleet.

Three Type 056 corvettes were launched in September and October 2016, bringing to 39 the total number of corvettes in the PLANSF, and making this class the most numerous surface warships in the navy.

Of this total, 27 are in active service patrolling littoral or near shore waters off the Chinese mainland. PLANSF plans to have at least 60 of these small but heavily armed warships with most being equipped for surface warfare (Type 056) and the rest for anti-submarine warfare (Type 056A).

Chinese media reports that 12 corvettes are currently being fitted-out or undergoing pre-commissioning trials. This process takes about 12 months to complete.

The new warships will be distributed among PLAN's South Sea, East Sea and North Sea Fleets. A number of Type 056s are also being built for the China Coast Guard.

The Type 056 are the smallest principal surface combatants in the PLAN. They're replacing the large numbers of missile boats, submarine chasers and gunboats patrolling China's extensive littoral waters.

The ships have a range of 3,500 nautical miles and displace 1,500 tons. They feature a stealthy hull design with sloped surfaces and reduced superstructure clutter. 

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