China in a move to sell its Type 054A to Russia might showcase the guided-missile frigates at the joint sea 2015 naval exercise later this month in the Mediterranean Sea, Want China Times website reported Sunday.
According to Alexander Mozgovoy, a Russian defense expert, Chinese Type 054A can be used as substitutes for the obsolete vessels currently in service before the Russian Navy puts advanced domestic frigates into service.
“Since most warships built in China are based on Soviet or Russian technology, Mozgovoy believes that they are particularly close to the requirements of Russia. He mentioned that the Type 054A frigates' weapons and electronic equipment can easily be replaced with domestic alternatives”, the website quoted Mozgovoy as saying.
Mozgovoy said, “The performance of Type 054A frigates, including their weapons systems, stealth capability, seaworthiness and endurance, are in line with the requirements of modern frigates. If China successfully sells its Type 054A to Russia, it will boost the reputation of Chinese defense industry. This is the first time for China to actually introduce its domestic weapon system to a major power instead of developing nations.”
“The 19th escort task force of the PLA Navy, Weishanhu, a Type 903 replenishment ship, as well as the Linyi and the Weifang, two Types of 054A guided-missile frigates, will participate in the joint naval exercises with the Russian Navy,” Geng Yansheng spokesperson for China's defense ministry was quoted as saying by the website.
The Type 054A frigate is a Chinese multi-role warship class, the first of which entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. The class is planned to comprise 24+ vessels. As of 2015, 18 are in service, 4 are fitting out, and 2 are under construction.