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Chinese Navy sends most sophisticated ships on escort mission off Somalia
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10:26, December 27, 2008

Chinese Navy sends most sophisticated ships on escort mission off Somalia
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The three warships forming the small fleet that set sail from Sanya in south China's Hainan Province for escort mission off Somali are among the most sophisticated vessels of the Chinese navy.

The flagship of the fleet, DDG-169 Wuhan, is a multi-purpose missile destroyer of Type 052B of the People's Liberation Army Navy. It was built by Jiangnan Shipyard of Shanghai in 2002.

With a displacement of 7,000 tonnes, DDG-169 Wuhan is equipped with 16 anti-ship missiles, 48 surface-to-air missiles, close-in weapons system and a helicopter.

DDG-171 Haikou, the Navy's latest destroyer model, is one of the two Type 052C destroyers. It was built by Jiangnan Shipyard in2003.

DDG-171 Haikou is equipped with China's first generation of phased-array radar and a vertically launched long-range air defence missile system. It will provide air defense the fleet. The ship displaces nearly 7,000 tonnes.

A ceremony is held before a Chinese naval fleet sets sail from a port in Sanya city of China's southernmost island province of Hainan on Dec. 26, 2008. The Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship from the South China Sea Fleet set off on Friday for waters off Somalia for an escort mission against piracy.(Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

Type 052C destroyers provide the Navy with China's first true aerial defense capability. Both the Wuhan and Haikou have a maximum speed of 30 knots.

The supply ship, Weishanhu (pennant number 887) of the Navy's Qiandaohu class, was launched by Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou in 2003. It was commissioned in 2004. Weishanhu is the Navy's first model designed to have round-the-clock supply capacity.

Having a displacement of 23,000 tonnes and maximum speed of 19 knots, Weishanhu is the biggest homemade multi-product replenishment ship. Although its primary role is supply, it can also defend itself and take part in offensive operations using its eight 37mm guns.

All three warships belong to the South China Sea Fleet, headquartered in Zhanjiang of Guangdong Province.

Photo taken on Dec. 25, 2008 shows the Chinese Navy's supply ship Weishanhu in Sanya, capital of South China's Hainan Province. The Chinese Navy's three-ship fleet awaiting sail to waters off Somalia has finished its preparations for the overseas deployment, the fleet commander said Thursday.

The task force commander is Real-Admiral Du Jingchen, who serves as chief of staff of the South China Sea Fleet.

En route to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, the commander told Xinhua that the expedition has not been given any landing plans and Chinese warships will not accept assignment from other countries or regional organizations.

"But we will exchange information with other country's escort ships and provide humanitarian help in our power to foreign vessels in danger," Du said.

Specification source: www.people.com.cn

Source: Xinhua

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