China’s military has launched its most powerful naval destroyer, which is equipped with new air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship, and anti-submarine systems. The navy’s 10,000-tonne warship was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The giant new warship’s powerful phased array radars will help it focus on targets at sea, on land, and in the air. “The launch of this ship signifies that our nation’s development of destroyers has reached a new stage,” the Chinese navy said in a statement. It is believed to be of the 055 type.
China is reportedly building three other naval destroyers of the 055 type, which are significantly larger than its other modern destroyers and are believed to be a successor class to the smaller Type-052D guided missile destroyers.
The new vessel will have to undergo planned testing before it is commissioned for use. Chinese media showed photos of the new warship covered in multicolored streamers and flags and flanked by rows of sailors and shipyard workers.
China launched its first domestically-built aircraft carrier in April. The Asian power’s military enhancement activities have irked the United States, an extra-regional power that nevertheless has extensive presence near China.
The US routinely interferes in territorial disputes between China and other regional countries, including in the South China Sea. The strategic waterway, which is located between China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei, is mostly claimed by China.
While China’s rival claimants seem to have been managing their disputes with China smoothly, Beijing says the United States’ meddling in the disputes sparks unnecessary tensions.