- Yes! both versions!
- Yes! just the Early model!
- Yes! just the Late model!
- No to All
many centuries ago in the mythical era of… 2020… this was originally going to be a massive suggestion for the entirety of the Type 037 family of Corvettes and their sometimes confusingly named variants both foreign and domestic… however this is a subject that was even before the uniform ship suggestion rule, simply way, WAY, too large for a single suggestion, so this is going to be a whole series of suggestions eventually across the Chinese and Other sections, to give each class and national variant its own time to shine,
with that said, this is a suggestion for the first of what might become at around a dozen suggestions:
the Type 037 (NATO reporting name: Hainan-class) Submarine Chaser.
This is the base model of quite a large family of associated Corvette specializations. Originally made for the People’s Liberation Army Navy in order to patrol the extensive coastline and major rivers of China midway through the Cold War… as well as ward off any American submarines that wandered a just a liiiiiiiiittle too far north from the ongoing trainwreck that was the war in Vietnam, the base model Type 037 has since found itself on the shores of China, North Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh (itself originally East Pakistan), Egypt, Myanmar, and even in a unique subversion that was made largely for the Algerians as the Chui-E-class.
Type 037 submarine chaser, on the Xiangjiang River in Changsha City, Hunan Province- apparently the ship that Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping took during his cruise to inspect parts of southern China.
“According to the wikimedia uploaders caption, the boat is “on the Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan, during the “Southern Inspection Tour” of Deng Xiaoping”. However, the slogan on the boat seems to mention the 50th anniversary of PRC (1999) (hard to read, though), and the camera’s EXIF metadata give 2005 as the time when the photo was made.”
江阴 Jiangyin (pennant number 686), 2001
兴化 Xinghua (pennant number 689)
咸丰 Xianfeng (pennant number 695) apparently taken August 27th, 2006, right in front of another Type 037.
interesting note, the chinese wiki on the Type 037 IDs the Xianfeng as a “037JZ” variant. no idea what that means because nothing else even mentions anything about about a JZ variant of the Type 037
the genesis of the China’s Type 037-class starts; as many ship designs do, in the need to replace an older and less capable ship, the Type 062 Gunboat. The requirements for the new ship class described being of greater tonnage for better and smoother navigation, same or greater speed, greater firepower, and dedicated anti-submarine capabilities.
The framework for the Type 037 started with a Soviet Project 201 (of which we have the Pr.201M ingame, so it’s actually very similar in overall looks) submarine chaser supplied by the Soviets to the Chinese in assembly kit form, but was then made considerably larger (17 meters longer, 1 wider) as the PLAN for a very long time did not make nor operate anything small enough that could reasonably be called a PT boat, instead using a plethora of small and large corvettes on China’s massive uninterrupted coastline, and for riverine operations on major waterways like the Pearl, Yellow, and Yangtze rivers.
once the design was finalized after going through a couple design bureaus, construction of the first Type 037 began, which despite starting at No.601, the first that navypedia lists is No.605, 招远 (Zhouyuan).
construction of the original ship started on August 7, 1962, was launched on December 17, 1963, with trials during March 1964, and commissioned on November 16, 1964. after this, the Huangpu, Qiuxin, Qingdao, and occasionally Chungking shipyards began building them.
In addition to anti-submarine warfare missions, due to their size as small ships rather than large boats, the Type 037 family are all capable of; and were/are routinely used; in a wide variety of missions such as minelaying and maritime patrols, with various units doing everything from their original military roles to being outfitted as hospital ships.
although nearly half of the class was retired in 2000, dozens still remain in active PLAN service.
Over the decades a number of these ships have been exported to Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, North Korea, Pakistan and Myanmar, where many remain in service today as well.
Being as these are fairly large Chinese ships for their time, and in service during the Vietnam War, a couple of them did see serious action when the PRC started throwing its weight around in the successful invasion of the Paracel Islands. (wiki link in case you want to see where it is, because it a TINY area)
They would take part in a key role in the January 19-20th, 1974, Battle of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
In this small conflict in the final years of South Vietnam, the PRC would invade and seize the island chain with comparatively few soldier losses vs South Vietnamese forces, culminating on land in a battle between PLA marines and irregulars vs ARVN troops, and on sea with the 281, 282 (now part of the Shantou Marine Police District with new pennant numbers), and some older Type 6604 and 6605 ships in skirmishes with SVN frigates Trần Bình Trọng (HQ-05), Lý Thường Kiệt (HQ-16), and Trần Khánh Dư (HQ-04), and the corvette Nhật Tảo (HQ-10).
despite seemingly being the underdogs on paper, the Chinese forces won with complete ease and took the islands, losing few soldiers and no ships, though many had some minor or major damage. Meanwhile the ARVN forces were routed and SVN frigates all moderately to seriously damaged, with the Nhật Tảo sunk.
but this victory ultimately began the steep decline of relations with North Vietnam; who of course claimed all Vietnamese territory of the former French Indochina and Vietnamese dynasties prior to that; and weren’t exactly happy the PRC didn’t hand the islands over to them- to the Chinese they are claimed as 西沙群岛 / Xisha Islands, and to the Vietnamese they are claimed as Quần đảo Hoàng Sa / Hoang Sa Archipelago, with the international name of the island chain being the Paracel Islands.
as the US Navy’s 7th Fleet refused South Vietnamese request for aid, having completely washed its hands of anything related to Vietnam the year before, the South Vietnamese cancelled a reconquest plan to mass assault the islands, thus ensuring that the Type 037 fight no more wars up to the present day.
101 units of the base Type 037-class were built, and as the class is around 55 years old with many members of the class still in service having been commissioned in the early to mid 1980s, newer submarine chasers have been entering service for over 4 decades, and the Type 037-class is steadily being decommissioned and/or occasionally sold off, of which the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, North Korean, and Burmese units remain(ed) largely stock.
395 metric tonnes (388.76 long tons)
430 metric tonnes (420 long tons)
58.77 meters (192 ft 10 in)
7.20 meters (23 ft 7 in)
2.24 meters (7 ft 3 in)
four 12VE230ZC diesel engines delivering 8,800 hp (6,562 kW) to 4 shafts for a top speed of 30.5 knots (56.5 km/h; 35.1 mph) - these are the standard base model engines across the 037 design family.
1800 nmi (3,700 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), and 1300 nmi at 15 knots.
Crew: either 70, 72, or 80
depending on the source and considering just how long the base model Type 037-class has been in service (1963-present day) and with how many nations it’s been in service, likely all 3 are true at some point.
76mm L/70 Mark 26 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3"/70_Mark_26_gun - no idea how the PRC/PLAN got their hands on the then-fairly new mk.26 (stolen from ROC?), but both the Chinese wiki and Conway’s corroborate that early models had one forward and aft, later replaced with the armament standard on later-produced units
2×2 25mm L/60 Type 61 guns- identical copies of the soviet 2M-3, just with shorter 60-caliber length barrels instead of the 79-caliber length used by the soviets
4 x RBU-1200 anti-submarine rocket launchers - same as seen on the MPK Pr.201M ingame
2 × BMB-2 ASW mortars
pair of depth charge rails with 10 depth charges per rail - given that much of Chinese ordinance at this time was directly derived from or just outright copies of soviet designs, it’s likely these are closely related to the soviet BB-1 depth charges ingame
pair of mine launcher rails, 5 mines per rail - given that much of Chinese ordinance at this time was directly derived from or just outright copies of soviet designs, it’s likely these are closely related to the soviet YAM-43 mines ingame
Type 351 radar - local copy of the Soviet Reya radar system (NATO reporting name: POTHEAD)
Type 601 (SJD-1) sonar array
at some point the main guns, sonar, and anti-submarine rocket launchers were replaced.
2×2 57mm L/70 Type 66 guns - locally produced copy of the air cooled ZIF-31 L/70, which is the original, land-based version of the AK-257 AK-257 - Wikipedia. this replaced the earlier US-made 3-inch Mk.26 as understandably, the Americans weren’t exactly eager to provide munitions
2×2 25mm L/60 Type 61 guns- remained unchanged
4x1 Type 81 240mm ASRLs-
the four RBU-1200s were eventually replaced with locally designed 5-shot 240mm Type 81 ASW Rocket Launchers
here the Type 81 ASRLs are seen on the bow of the Type 053K Frigate Yingtan (531), at Qingdao Naval Museum
H/SJD-3 telescoping sonar array
the sonar and even sonar development itself was changed after the SJD-1 sonars turned out to be basically completely useless in practice, so the PLAN adopted the soviet Tamir-11, but improved upon it by not having the H/SJD-3 be fixed to the hull like the Tamir-11, but telescope out in front of the hull, which both improved the sonar’s range, and greatly reduced the interference from the proximity to the hull of the ship.
Conways All the Worlds Ships 1947-1995, PDF/DjVu page 72