- China has the biggest navy in the world in terms of number of vessels.
- The Type 055 is the biggest destroyer class in China's People's Liberation Army Navy.
- Chinese media has touted the Type 055 as the second-most powerful in the world after the USS Zumwalt.
The class of destroyers is also known as the Renhai-class cruiser. As a multi-role warship, it is equipped with weapons to counter missiles, ships, and submarines, according to the South China Morning Post.
Unlike the American-made USS Zumwalt, which is focused on land attacks, the Type 055 is an amphibious assault ship, according to the SCMP.
And while the Zumwalt has since been called a "failed ship concept," after being plagued with equipment issues, the Type 055 has been hailed "the world's most powerful destroyer" by several military publications.
The Type 055 is the first destroyer in the world to test railgun technologies at sea, according to Military Watch Magazine.
The first-ever ship in the class, the Nanchang (pennant number 101), was launched in June 2017 and commissioned in January 2020. Five more have since been deployed in active service: the Lhasa (102), Anshan (104), Wuxi (107), and Dalian (105), Yan'an (106), according to geopolitical publication Special Eurasia.
The ships are part of China's Northern Theatre Command, which encompasses Mongolia, Russian Siberia, and Korea; and the Southern Theatre Command, which encompasses the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, per Special Eurasia.
Lhasa, the second ship in the class, was seen sailing as far as the Sea of Japan in June, according to Global Times.
One Zumwalt unit costs the US Navy $7 billion, according to Foreign Policy.
While the Type 055 is less expensive than its American counterpart, it costs more than other notable Chinese vessels. According to the SCMP, the Chinese Navy's Type 054D, which was once its prized class of warships, cost half of the Type 055. The Type 055 represents a "major qualitative leap" for China in terms of developing top-notch surface combatants, according to a 2020 report by the US Naval War College.
SOURCE: Business Insider – Read entire story here.