CHINA / MILITARY
Final Type 056 corvette wraps up production: report
Published: Jan 14, 2020 05:13 AM

The Hanzhong, a Type 056 guided-missile corvette, sails the ocean. Photo: js7tv.cn


China has reportedly completed work on its final coastal defensive Type 056 corvette, military analysts said on Monday that bigger warships for high sea operations could be the new focus.

The Aba, named after the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, finished production at the end of December, Aba Television reported, without mentioning an expected commission date.

The Aba is the last ship of its kind, Aba Television said.

While the report did not directly name the ship's model, a photo was revealed that depicted a warship from the same class: the Hanzhong (hull 520), a Type 056 corvette.

With a full displacement of 1,300 tons, the Type 056 guided-missile corvette is 88.9 meters long and 11.14 meters wide, according to js7tv.cn, a website affiliated with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The warship is small and yet a powerful tool in China's costal defense operations, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

PLA Navy officials did not reveal how many Type 056 models it will have in operation. Public reports have indicated over 60 have been launched since 2012.

If future Type 056s are not scheduled for production as the Aba report suggested, it would mean the current inventory was sufficient for costal defense operations. Shipyards could shift their focus on building larger warships, a military analyst who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Monday.

China commissioned its first Type 055 destroyer, the Nanchang, which has a displacement of more than 10,000 tons, on Sunday. More Type 055s and 7,000 ton-class Type 052D destroyers are expected to join the Navy.

The larger ships will contribute to China's deep blue water strategy, experts said.

Chinese military enthusiasts also expect the Chinese shipbuilding industry to develop a more advanced frigate, but no official reports have confirmed their theories.

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