China has launched its most powerful naval destroyer, the Type 055, at the Shanghai port. The naval destroyer is one among the largest warships in the world.
The Type055 vessels will weigh more than 12,000 tonnes when fully armed. The Type055 vessels are larger and more powerful than India’s latest Project- 15B “Visakhapatnam” class destroyers. India is yet to commission Project- 15B “Visakhapatnam” class destroyers. India’s destroyers when fully armed will displace only 8,200 tonnes and are capable of carrying only a mix of nearly 50 surface-to-air, anti-ship and land attack missiles. On the other hand, the Type055 vessels will combine nearly 120 missiles, making it one of the most heavily-armed ships in the world. Chinese vessels are fitted with powerful phased array radars that are capable of focusing on targets at sea, on land and in the air. The vessel is more modern and has more sophisticated control and battle management system.
Chinese vessels are fitted with powerful phased array radars that are capable of focusing on targets at sea, on land and in the air. The vessel is more modern and has more sophisticated control and battle management system than India’s vessels under construction.
In the last five years, China has launched several naval vessels. From March 2014, China has commissioned five Type 52D destroyers which have similar capability to that of India’s Visakhapatnam’ class warships. In addition, China has planned to build a fleet of at least 18 such naval ships. India, on the other hand, has planned to build only seven ships belonging to the Vishakhapatnam class.
Earlier this year, China had also launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier whose construction began only in 2013. India’s indigenous aircraft carrier, the Vikrant whose construction is carried out since 2009 is unlikely to be completed before 2023.
Growing Chinese naval prowess is a cause of worry to India. In the last five years, China has increasingly begun to deploy its nuclear submarines, warships and other support vessels in the Indian Ocean. India’s important maritime ally, the United States has also expressed its deep concerns about the expansion of the Chinese Navy, particularly in the Indian Ocean.