China's Type 055 large destroyer Lhasa conducts live-fire drills, enhances combat capabilities
Published: Feb 22, 2022 01:25 AM
Photo taken on Jan. 12, 2020 shows the ceremony of the commissioning of the <em>Nanchang</em>, China's first Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, in the port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. The commission of <em>Nanchang</em> marks the Navy's leap from the third generation to the fourth generation of destroyers, according to a statement from the Navy. (Photo by Li Tang/Xinhua)

Photo taken on January 12, 2020 shows the ceremony of the commissioning of the Nanchang, China's first Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, in the port city of Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province. Photo: Xinhua

The Lhasa, the second Type 055 10,000 ton-class large destroyer of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, recently conducted live-fire drills against sea, air and land targets, effectively enhancing the warship's comprehensive combat capabilities.

This is the second time the Lhasa has held seagoing exercises since the start of 2022 and experts said on Monday that the drills consolidated the vessel's operational capability in advance of more important operations soon to come.

A vessel training center attached to the PLA Northern Theater Command Navy recently organized the Type 055 guided missile destroyer Lhasa to participate in a maritime exercise in the Yellow Sea to boost the crew's comprehensive combat capabilities, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

During the drills, the Lhasa conducted multiple training at an undisclosed sea region under complex weather conditions, CCTV said. The Lhasa searched for and launched attacks on sea targets with its main gun and after eliminating surface targets, incoming aerial threats put the warship's close-in weapons system to the test with the successful interception of the air targets.

Next, the Lhasa received orders to attack targets on land. The vessel again used its main gun and destroyed simulated hostile ground-based artillery positions, CCTV reported, noting that the crew also dealt well with emergency situations.

The exercise also included nocturnal maneuvers in formation, joint search and rescue, visit, board, search and seizure, live-fire light weapon shooting, and damage control assistance, CCTV reported.

In January, the Lhasa held an eight-day maritime exercise in the Yellow Sea, with drills including attacks on maritime targets with missiles and artillery, search and attack on submarines, defense against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons attacks, according to media reports.

The two drills since the start of the year enhanced the Lhasa's combat capabilities and indicate that the warship is now ready for more important operations, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Monday, requesting anonymity.

As the second ship in the Type 055 class, the Lhasa entered service with the PLA Navy in March 2021, after the Nanchang, which was commissioned in January 2020.

China has launched eight Type 055 large destroyers, according to media reports.

Having a displacement of more than 12,000 tons, the Type 055 is equipped with 112 vertical launch missile cells capable of firing a combination of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, land-attack missiles and anti-submarine missiles. It is also endowed with the capability to gain strong situational awareness and can play a command role in a flotilla, media reported.

Shi Hong, Executive Chief Editor of the Chinese magazine Shipborne Weapons, told the Global Times that the Type 055 is the world's best destroyer in terms of comprehensive capabilities, and the continued commissioning of ships in this class will contribute to the PLA Navy's combat capabilities.