Sunday, April 22, 2012

The new adventures of old Jianghu

Recent Internet rumors and photos are suggesting that the old Jianghu I and II are being withdrawn from combat patrols.   Some are them are being sold to Bangladesh and Burma, others have their front pair of 37mm mounts replaced by Heavy MG more suitable for anti-piracy and fishery patrols in the South China Sea.  Other noticeable patrol centric modifications include two SATCOM antennas, new cranes for the rubber dinghies and extra cameras on top of the bridge.

FFG534, FFG553 and FFG555, the three known South China Sea modified Jianghu Is, 

FFG 544, the sole member of the JiangHu IV class -- withdrawn from service in 2010 and has been enjoying her new life as a training ship for the Chinese Naval Academy in Qingdao.

The younger JiangHu Vs are being converted into  SSM trucks. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

JiangHu V Class FFG, Two-Point-O.

Recent pictures reveal that several upgrades have been completed on the last batch of Type 053H1G FFG (also known as Jianghu V class) that entered service in the 1990s with the South Sea Fleet. Those upgrades are suggesting that all six Jianghu V class FFGs will remain in service with the PLAN for the foreseeable future.

The latest improvements include new air-search and fire-control radars, new twin 100mm main gun turrets to replace the old models, the addition of 37mm CIWS mounts, and the replacement of Silkworms with YJ-83 anti-ship missiles.

The reasoning behind the latest upgrade of a rather obsolete class of frigates has been the subject of speculation on CDF. Some suggest that recent upgrades signify the immaturity of newer vessels' design, while others argue that even though the 053 is obsolete, it remains a cost-effective and potent platform against weaker potential rivals in the South China Sea. This author is highly skeptical of the "technology immaturity" speculation; the rapid pace of 054A construction should have erased any doubt by now about the "maturity" of the PLAN's new generation of FFGs. The latter speculation is a far more likely possibility. The commitment of modern surface combatants to the Gulf of Aden and the uptick in regional maritime disputes has increased the necessity for a stop-gap measure for effective littoral patrol until the new Type 056 corvettes enter service. *

-- Mr. Unknown
* With special thanks to duskylim 

* FFG558 Zigong pre-upgrade
* FFG558 Zigong post-upgrade
* FFG559 Beihai pre-upgrade
* FFG559 Beihai post-upgrade
* FFG560 Dongguan pre-upgrade
* FFG560 Dongguan post-upgrade
* FFG561 Shantou pre-upgrade
* FFG561 Shantou post-upgrade
* FFG562 Jiangmen pre-upgrade
* FFG562 Jiangmen post-upgrade
  * FFG563 Foshan pre-upgrade
* FFG563 Foshan post-upgrade

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