Type 037 series Part 3: Type 037IS Submarine Chaser (Early)- With New Guns and Old Turrets, Mass Production is back on the Menu!

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Originally posted on September 24th, 2020


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 the fourth of what might become at around a dozen suggestions:

the Type 037IS Submarine Chaser
Specifically ships (as pictured below) sporting the original Type 76 open top turret and gun layout generally seen on the earlier produced ships

The Type 037I hull goes into mass production
the armament doesn’t cost an arm and a leg now
and the old main gun turret sticks around for one last show on some of the early models.


No.711, 胶南 (Jiaonan) picture taken at Liugong Island base, Weihai, April 2007

No.712, 锦江 (Jinjiang), at sea


Fundamentally the Type 037IS is the mass-produced counterpart to the Type 037I, reusing the same exact lengthened hull as the Type 037I, but with different (read: far cheaper) gun and electronics armament for a different and much less tense era, with the intent of the 037IS being a mass produced second-line ship.

As the threat of WWIII ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, the needs of every major military on earth faced a complete paradigm shift, now focusing more on intervention in smaller-scale regional conflicts… or just total military stagnation… rather than the specter of all-out total war vs an entire bloc.

With China and the PLAN, this would lead to the last member of the Type 037 family with a true mass production number- the Type 037IS (NATO reporting name: Haiqing-class), produced by Qiuxin Shipyard starting in 1993.
unlike the base model Type 037 or the 037Is and ID, the 037IS is intended more as a general purpose small ship with more limited capabilities as a submarine hunter, but also unlike the limited production Type 037I/ID, has an electronics suite and armament that is maxed out in combat capability and costs as well… 30mm automated twin gatling guns aren’t exactly cheap, and are notoriously beasts to maintain.
As a result of these cost cuts and mission profile changes, the Type 037IS is the last of the Type 037 family to be designated a submarine hunter.


for the Type 037IS in China, there’s really not much history to speak of. they have been in a few movies and done routine patrols for the past 20-25 years, and most are still in service today. that’s about it as far as can be found.

interesting little note aside- Jiaonan (711) seen above and the Jimo (710) would be sold to Tanzania in 2014, where they are in service with the Tanzanians today.


Displacement (normal):
478 long tons

Displacement (maximum):
490 long tons

62.8 meters

7.2 meters

2.24 meters

Propulsion: 4 12VE230ZC diesel engines, producing 2200 horsepower each for 8800 hp (6,562 kW), powering 4 shafts for a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)

the extra weight of the 037I and 037IS took a couple knots off the original ~30 knot top speeds of the base model Type 037

Range: 1700 nmi at 18 knots

Crew: 70-71


unlike the original Type 037 and the 037I/ID, the 037IS has main and secondary gun armament both much easier to work in general, with the new 37mm main guns coming in a variety of mountings, each of which feature their own quirks.

this armament going forward would become the basis of the mostly standard gun armament on the followup Type 037G Corvette and Type 037II Guided Missile Escort, and partially on the final incarnation of the design in the Type 206 Gunboat.

2x2 Type 76 37mm L/63, Type 76 Open Mount

after decades of operating the over 40-year old design 57mm guns, the PLAN were finally just done with those things. they broke down frequently, were mechanically cumbersome, and were too slow in general to be useful anymore, and couldn’t be fitted with any tech more advanced than a brick since modern electronics and salty sea spray notoriously do not mix well; and being open top, there was no amount of insulation that would ever seriously work… but they had to start somewhere.

as seen in both below pictures, the new guns were placed in modified old Type 66 turrets, with maybe a mix of modified preexisting turrets, and a more efficient later design as seen on some other ships as well.

The Type 76 guns themselves are actually just a refreshed Type 65 37mm cannon, AKA the Chinese copy of the Soviet V-11 (which we have ingame), with the Type 76s big update being that is outfitted to fire in fully machine automatic, with a fire rate of ~400 RPM, but retains semi-auto fire capability as a backup, likely in case of a breakdown.
2x2 Type 69 14.5mm HMG

sadly the beastly 30mm autocannons on the Type 037Is were dropped, as the PLAN realized fairly quickly that with the end of the Cold War, these things (and the Round Ball radars that made them work!) were ludicrously surplus to requirement, and the costs needed to keep them running consistently were far in excess of any task the ships would ever have within their realistic capability. so stick some Type 69/KPVs on the superfiring positions instead. far cheaper, far more long term reliability.


The Type 037IS is the first of the family to move away from the Submarine Chaser specialization, losing its depth charge and mine racks- but there’s more to this story.

2x1 Type 87 six-shot anti-submarine rocket launchers, firing the 240mm Type 81G Depth Charge.

The Type 87 is a major upgrade over the old Type 81, let alone the even even older Type 62/RBU-1200 copies. they are fitted with an automatic loading system, making them far more useful than the practical one-shot machines they always were, because who the hell is going to hand load some anti-submarine munitions in the middle of any battle or submarine chase fast enough actually do anything meaningful?

in addition to being autoloaded, the Type 81G warhead; which seems to be the only ever ordinance made for this launcher up to present day; has a nasty 34kg warhead, can be launched a full 5 kilometers, and has a total ammo count of 48- 6 in each launcher, and 3 full reloads each.

the high effectiveness and greatly improved efficiency was such that adopting the Type 87 gave enough of a reason to entirely drop the classical fantail rail-laid depth charge + mine combo entirely.

due to just how good this launcher was upon its entry into service in the late 1980s, it’s apparently totally ubiquitous for any ship of any class to carry ASRLs and be built ever since to have these.


Type 723 navigation / surface search radar

Thomson-Sintra medium frequency SS-12 VDS sonar (Chinese-produced copy)


if anyone has sources from some book source that covers this ship class (any language) can you please let me know? i’ve never been comfortable with relying solely on sometimes sketchy websites.





https://war.163.com/09/0725/19/5F3DSQAF00011232_2.html - a little before halfway through page 2



I’m really excited for Chinese naval stuff. This looks fun as heck! +1