BEIJING, Sept. 6 (ChinaMil) -- The U.S. website Navy Knowledge Online recently reported that the Type-055 destroyer, the PLA Navy's first main battle surface vessel with the displacement of over 10,000 tons, is in fast progress.
Yin Zhuo, director of the PLA Navy's Expert Consultation Committee, said in an interview with CCTV's Focus Today that if foreign media's reports on Type-055 destroyer were true, then China's surface vessel construction capability had reached a new high.
But with such a large displacement, the destroyer should be used to escort aircraft carriers with catapult-assisted take-off (C.A.T.O.) capability rather than the aircraft carrier Liaoning, Yin added.
According to U.S. media, the photo released in late July and early August 2016 indicated that the vessel body was being assembled at a Shanghai-based shipyard. They even conjectured that China's first Type-055 destroyer will enter the water in early 2017 and be delivered to the PLA Navy in 2018 at soonest.
According to Yin Zhuo, compared with the Type-052D destroyer with a displacement of 7,000 tons, Type-055's displacement is thousands of tons larger. It will be able to carry sea-to-air and sea-to-sea weapons as well as long-range sea-to-ground attack cruise missiles.
Military expert Teng Jianqun held that American media's reports "can be trusted". The Type-055 destroyer will be a comprehensive combat platform that is able to carry out air defense, anti-submarine, anti-ship and sea-to-shore attacks, whose powerful air defense capability enables it to better perform the "escort" duty and make sure that aircraft carrier can sail on the high sea safely.
Yin Zhou also pointed out that "if a large destroyer with the displacement of 10,000 tons is used to escort the aircraft carrier Liaoning, that's like employing a steam engine to crack a nut ".
The aircraft carrier Liaoning, which adopts ski-jump takeoff, doesn't have appropriate early warning aircraft, so it will carry out operations within the support scope of shore-based early warning aircraft at times of large-scale combat and won't get too far away from the shore.
Therefore, the Type-055 destroyer, which is capable of ocean-going combat, will probably escort CATO aircraft carrier, under whose cover its strong combat capability can be brought into full play.
China will not stop at aircraft carriers of ski-jump takeoff, but will have CATO carriers with comprehensive IT-based combat capability and equipped with early warning aircraft, electronic warfare aircraft and fixed-wing anti-submarine aircraft.
The combat taskforce comprised of CATO aircraft carrier and Type-055 destroyer, also equipped with supply ship and strike nuclear submarine, will be able to carry out ocean-going operations. It will be the first step taken by the PLA Navy to become a true ocean-going navy.
The article is extracted from People.com.cn The opinions expressed here are those of the article and don't represent views of the China Military website.