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One of the most moving episodes in the blockbuster of the Chinese box office Wolf Warrior 2 is the one in which the captain of a guided missile destroyer Type 052D shouts “Fire!”, ordering the launch of supersonic cruise missiles to hit rebel troops in an imaginary African nation that holds Chinese hostages.
However, this scenario could not have happened in real life because in the Gulf of Aden there have been no Type 052D destroyers, now considered the most powerful combat ship in the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Instead, the Navy has sent other ships to waters that were once plagued by pirates to protect civilian vessels for almost 11 years.
That is about to change, since the Navy has decided to send a Type 052D to participate in its last escort mission. The CNS Xining, the fifth in the Type 052D class, sails to the Gulf of Aden.
The Xining, with the number 117 in its helmet, was commissioned in January 2017. It is part of the 33rd Chinese Army Navy escort fleet, along with the CNS Weifang, a guided missile frigate Type 054A and the CNS Hoh Xil Hu, a Type 903A supply vessel. All ships belong to the naval force of the Northern Command of the People’s Liberation Army, known as the North Sea Fleet.
The flotilla sailed from a naval base in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on August 29. It will travel at least 11,000 kilometers before reaching the Gulf of Aden in the next two weeks.
A type 052D destroyer has a standard displacement of 6,300 metric tons, according to the Navy. It carries a wide range of weapons, including a single-barrel 130mm naval cannon, a commuter weapon system, 64 long-range HHQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles and YJ-18 or YJ-83 cruise missiles.
The ship uses a series of cutting-edge technologies. The Navy said the Type 052D destroyer has a stealthy design and can act as the flagship of an attack group.
It is capable of carrying out anti-ship, anti-submarine and air defense operations, and some Western observers have described it as an “aircraft carrier killer.”
The first Type 052D destroyer, CNS Kunming, joined the Navy in March 2014. The Navy has built at least 17 Type 052D and 11 of them are in service, according to military observers following the development of weapons of the Chinese Navy.
The 33rd escort fleet has more than 600 officers and sailors, including dozens of special operations troops.
The Navy began carrying out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and the waters of Somalia in December 2008. In the last decade, it has sent 106 ships and more than 28,000 naval personnel to escort at least 6,700 Chinese and foreign ships, according to the Navy.
Source: Spanish People Daily