China launches new guided-missile frigate 'Wuhai'

17 January 2018

China has launched a new guided- missile frigate called 'Wuhai', which has stronger anti- submarine capabilities, official media reported today.

Lu Baoqiang, political commissar of a military base under the Northern Theatre Command, conferred the navy ensign and naming certificate to the new frigate (hull number 540) at the ceremony yesterday after which Wuhai officially joined the naval battle sequence, state-run Global Times reported.

The Wuhai is the latest member of the Type 056 corvettes family, which is the Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army) Navy's main fleet for offshore defense, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the daily.

As China's older generation corvettes, the Type 037 and Type 053, are retired, the Type 056 has gradually taken over their missions, Song said.

The main duties of the Wuhai, will include patrolling, guarding, escorting missions, and working with other naval forces to strike enemy ships. It is also capable of engaging in anti-submarine warfare and other comprehensive maritime warfare, the report said.

The new version of Type 056 ships, including the Wuhai, are more equipped with anti-submarine weapons, and while these ships do not have shipboard hangars, they can accommodate anti-submarine helicopters, Song noted.

The Wuhai also features stealth and electromagnetic compatibilities, the report said.

The Type 056 corvettes are 89 meters long and 12 meters wide, with a displacement of 1,300 tonnes.

The modified Type 056 corvettes have been widely deployed by the China Coast Guard as law-enforcement vessels, and are seen in the Huangyan Island in the disputed South China Sea as well as the waters off the disputer Islands in the East China Sea to safeguard China's maritime right, the report said.