China launches ‘Asia’s biggest’ destroyer | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

China launches ‘Asia’s biggest’ destroyer

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China on Wednesday launched what it calls “the most advanced and largest warship in Asia”, billing it as a major step forward in the modernisation of its navy.

It is the first of the new type 055 guided-missile destroyers and has a displacement of more than 10,000 tonnes. The ship was built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai and is equipped with air defence, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported.

“The destroyer has been developed entirely in China, and it breaks new ground for the country in the design and assembly of large naval vessels. It is the symbol of the Navy to achieve strategic transformation development,” it said.

“The launch of the ship marks an important step towards China’s dream of having a strong and modern naval force,” a member of the Central Military Commission, Zhang Youxia, said at the warship’s launch ceremony.

The new destroyer will be similar in size to the 8,000-10,000 tonnes Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the main type currently in use with the US Navy, South China Morning Post reported.

Previously, the PLA Navy’s most advanced destroyer was the type 052D, a 7,500-tonne vessel.

The new ship will undergo equipment and sea testing, and is expected to enter service next year. It is comparable in size to the latest destroyers fielded in Asian waters by the US, Japan and South Korea, analysts said.

The launch comes after China presented its first home-produced aircraft carrier in April.

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