A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla led by the country’s most powerful surface combatant, Type 055 class destroyer Nanchang, sailed through the Tsushima Strait on Thursday and headed toward the Sea of Japan, the Japan Defense Ministry said Friday.
The PLA Navy flotilla was consisting of three warships, the Type 055 guided-missile destroyer Nanchang, the Type 052D guided-missile destroyer Chengdu and the Type 054A guided-missile frigate Daqing.
The Type 055 (NATO: Renhai) class destroyer is in waters near Japan for the first time, the ministry’s Joint Staff said. The three vessels did not enter Japan’s territorial waters nor take action to pose any threat to MSDF ships or planes, it added.
China has not announced any related information yet.
The development came a few days after the US and Japan released “2+2” ministers’ joint statement, about the concern over a controversial Chinese law. The Chinese law that recently took effect enables its coast guard ships to fire on vessels around the Japanese-controlled, Beijing-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Chinese officials said at the time that the so-called behavior by China is actually related to China’s sovereignty or core interests, and most frictions were triggered by provocation from the US or its allies, so it is they who should rethink how to reduce the negative impact on the region that could create more instability.
Type 055 (Renhai) Class Destroyers
With a displacement of more than 12,000 tons, the Type 055 is a guided missile destroyer about 180 meters long, 22 meters wide and has 112 vertical launch missile cells capable of launching a combination of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, land-attack missiles, and anti-submarine missiles.
A total of eight Type 055s have reportedly been built, with two of them known to have entered service. As the first entry to the Type 055-class, the Nanchang entered service on January 12, 2020, and the second ship Lhasa on 6 March 2021.
The Renhai-class vessel is viewed as a symbol of the rapid modernization of China’s military forces.
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Type 055 Class Destroyers: