Chinese state media recently reported that the country’s second Type 055 warship, the “Lhasa,” is combat-ready after intensive maritime drills this month.
Regarded as the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s largest and most advanced destroyer, the Lhasa participated in an eight-day exercise that began with radar detection and fire simulation to neutralize a target in undisclosed waters.
The warship reportedly demonstrated its operational capabilities after destroying various maritime targets with missiles and artillery.
The Chinese navy also tested the 10,000-ton destroyer’s ability to hunt submarines, seize suspect civilian vessels, rescue personnel, and defend against nuclear, biological, and chemical weapon attacks.
According to Northern Theatre Command Navy chief of staff Li Guoqiang, the exercises improved the ship’s ability to address emerging adversarial threats.
“We will take advantage of scientific and technological methods to explore new ways of training, and set new examples in training with science and tech,” Guoqiang said, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Lhasa Guided-Missile Destroyer
Named after the capital of Southwest China’s Xizang region, the Type 055 Lhasa is considered the second most potent destroyer after the US Navy’s DDG-1000 or Zumwalt-class stealth ship.
Equipped with 112 vertical launch missile cells, the multi-role destroyer can perform anti-missile, anti-ship, and anti-submarine missions.
The Type 055 is primarily designed to guard Chinese aircraft carriers and Type 075 amphibious assault ships. It is expected to be assigned to important navy missions later this year.
The first Type 055 warship joined the Chinese Navy in early 2020 and reportedly had a busy 2021 after participating in several extended tours and exercises, including a cruise near Alaska and a joint drill with Russia in the Sea of Japan.
Chinese military analyst Shi Hong told state-owned The Global Times that the Type 055 warship is the world’s best destroyer because of its comprehensive capabilities.