China has floated out a new domestically-built guided missile destroyer which boasts advanced weapons. The Chinese military says it marks a new step in the development of the country’s navy.
The 10,000-ton new generation destroyer was presented during a ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on Wednesday morning.
The new warship is the first of its type and is a “milestone” in the development of Chinese military equipment, according to the official Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) newspaper, China Military online.
Built by one of the two largest shipbuilding companies in the country, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, the warship has “new types of air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapon systems,” China Military online reports. The news outlet adds that the vessel has strong air and missile defenses, as well as advanced maritime target attacking.
Although the military did not specify the exact type of the ship, it is believed to be a Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, the launch of which was expected to take place only in 2018.
“The Type 055 destroyer will greatly enhance the PLA Navy’s combat capability in the open sea, and ground attack capability, as its higher tonnage will enable it to be more versatile,” military expert Song Zhongping said, as cited by the Global Times newspaper.
The vessel will undergo further trials, including testing on its equipment, berthing and sailing, according to Xinhua.
In late April, Beijing launched its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, expanding its fleet to two such vessels. Many in China have mocked the new ship, however, voting for it to be named ‘Phi Phi shrimp’ in an online poll.