The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) new Type 054B guided-missile frigate has reportedly been undergoing builder trials, after images on social media appeared to show the first Type 054B vessel underway though no official announcement has been made thus far.
The Type 054B is an enhanced version of the preceding Type 054A which currently serves as the backbone of the PLAN’s frigate fleet. The first Type 054B was launched in August of last year by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard, followed by another in October by Huangpu-Wenchong Shipyard. With few details regarding the new class of frigate, the ships in its class will likely feature a H/PJ-87 100mm main gun, an H/PJ-11 30mm close-in weapons systems, HQ-10 surface-to-air missile (SAM), a 32-cell vertical launch system among other armaments. The 054B is also expected to have a displacement of around 6,000 tonnes, considerably more than the 054A which displaces 4,000 tonnes. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Sina Weibo)