Type 053H1 Frigate, Zhaotong (555) - Better than Nothing

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Type 053H1 Frigate, Zhaotong (555)

TL;DR:
Coastal vessel, late Cold War guided missile frigate, uniquely has twin 37mm AA turrets with IR missiles attached to them.

Overview:
The 7th Type 053H1 frigate, Zhaotong was built in 1985 at the Shanghai Hudong Shipyard. It was commissioned into the South China Sea Fleet in 1987. The Type 053H1 was the 4th series of PLAN frigates. Compared to its predecessor, the Type 053H, it featured new twin automatic 100mm guns and belt-fed 37mm AA guns, and enhanced systems and machinery.

After the Johnson South Reef Skirmish in 1988, the PLAN became worried that future skirmishes with Vietnamese forces near Vietnamese territory would invite the Vietnamese air force to intervene, whose strong force of Soviet attack aircraft would outmatch and outrange the gun AA armament of the South Sea Fleet frigates. The existing HQ-61 SAM, mounted on only 2 frigates, was not considered satisfactory, and as more advanced systems were under development, an interim AA solution had to be quickly developed. It was decided to fit 2 PL-8H IR missiles onto the forward 37mm Type 76 turrets of Zhaotong, creating the Type 715II combined missile and artillery system. During testing, the system was found to be successful, but the shipborne mounting reduced the max range of the missile to only about 8km, lower than the max range of Soviet AGMs. As such, the Type 715II was not adopted on any other ship. At some point the system was also modified to launch PL-9C missiles too.

In 2012, the Type 715IIs would be removed from Zhaotong, and replaced with just 2 MGs in a major refit, along with some radar changes. Zhaotong was decommissioned in 2021, and was transferred to Qingdao as a museum/education ship, having covered 230 000 nmi in its long service life.

Specifications: (1989)

Armament:
2x2 100mm Type 79 (52 ready rounds, 25 rpm)
2x Type 715II installations

  • 2x2 37mm Type 76 (1600 rounds, 320 rpm)
  • 2x1 PL-8H/PL-9C SAMs

2x2 37mm Type 76 (1600 rounds, 320 rpm)
2x2 SY-1A SSML (SY-1/SY-2 SSMs)
2x5 252mm Type 81 ASWRL
4x1 Type 64 DCT
2 DCR
24 mines

Displacement:
1565 tons standard
1960 tons full

Length: 103.2m

Beam: 10.8m

Draft: 3.05m

Propulsion: 2 12E390VA diesel engines, 16 000hp, driving 2 shafts

Speed: 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h)

Range: 4000 nmi (at 18 knots)

Crew: 200

Systems:
Buqiu-50 fire director with H/LJP-343 FCR - (at least I think the Buqiu-50 is the fire director)
2 H/LJP-347G FCR
H/LJQ-357S search radar
H/LJQ-352 search radar
H/LJQ-517 search radar
Type 752 navigation radar
SJD-5 sonar
SJD-1B sonar

Images:




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During its decommissioning ceremony
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Type 715II images
Drawings/models:

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Sources:
https://web.archive.org/web/20190723143047/http://www.haijun360.com/news/053H1JHIIJ/2010/1022/1010222146466EGAAH7A6FK1DKI7GGJ2.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20190910140656/http://haijun360.com/news/053H1JHIIJ/053H1JHIIJ.html

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Images:
[https://naval-encyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Type-053H-Jianghu-I-HD.jpg]
https://www.taobao.com/list/item/724717904666.htm

2 Likes

China has such interesting boats! +1

+1

+1 should add Oliver hazard perry class as well to balance

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Bangladesh’s Type 053H1 received C802 missiles instead of SY-1