China Equips Type 818 Vessel with Type 630 Close-in Weapon System: Report
Photos of what appears to be China Coast Guard (CCG)'s Type 818 vessel equipped with the Type 630 30mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) are making rounds on Chinese internet sources, IHS Jane reported.
Aside from the spotted CIWS, the ship has also allegedly been armed with a 76mm PJ-26 naval gun as its primary weapon. Two turrets of the system - one each on the port and starboard sites - have also been installed above the vessel's helicopter hangar. And this appears to defend the ship against precision guided munitions and hostile aircraft.
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The Type 818 vessel with hull number 46301 is from a new class of cutters that derived its designs from the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)'s 3500-ton Jiangkai II-class (Type 054A) frigate. Nevertheless, the Type 818 and PLAN's Type 054A frigates share similar specifications. Both displace over 4,000 tons and have a length of 134 meters, beam of 16 meters, speed of 27 knots, and range of 8,000 nautical miles.
The vessel is not the first PLAN warship converted into a coast guard vessel. CCG also operated several converted vessels including PLAN's 1,700-ton Type 056 corvette. The "46301" will bridge the gap between the CCG's huge 12,000 ton Haijing 2901 and 3901 cutters, and several smaller ships below 2,000 tons.
The "46301" and other Type 818 cutters will have facilities capable of carrying large numbers of CCG personnel and aircraft, according to Popular Science. A converted warship such as the Type 054A is more heavily armed and could travel faster than CCG's smaller vessels like the 130-ton Type 218 patrol boat.