The destroyer flotilla of the Chinese Navy under the PLA Northern Theater Command held a retirement ceremony for four first-generation missile destroyers.
The decommissioning of the 4 ships at a military port in Lyushun, Liaoning Province, followed the induction of two Type 052D guided missile destroyers in the naval shipyard of Dalian on May 12.
Official media identified the decommissioned ships as the guided-missile destroyers Kaifeng (Hull 109), Dalian (Hull 110), Zunyi (Hull 134) and Guilin (Hull 164) All of the four destroyers had been in service for more than 30 years.
“Over decades, they had effectively fulfilled their sacred duties to safeguard China’s national unity and maritime rights and interests, and made outstanding contributions to the modernization of the Chinese Navy,” a report in Chinamil, the Chinese armed forces’ official news website said.
The decommissioned missile destroyers are the first-generation large and medium-sized warship designed and built in China ‘marking the rise of China’s modern industry and naval forces,’ Chinese media reported quoting an official statement. Their decommissioning instead of a life-extension program, indicates that China has quickened its pace of building a strong and modernized military.
The Chinese Navy has announced a program to build up to 30 Type 052D destroyers in addition to eight ships of the Type 055, 10,000 displacement ton destroyers in the near future. Long term plans include having a fleet of 50 destroyers and 3-4 aircraft carriers.