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Take a look at China’s biggest destroyer, a $920 million cruiser that’s said to be the second-most powerful in the world after the USS Zumwalt

Take a look at China’s biggest destroyer, a $920 million cruiser that’s said to be the second-most powerful in the world after the USS Zumwalt

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The Type 055 and the USS Zumwalt.

The Type 055 and the USS Zumwalt.

Sun Zifa/China News Service/U.S. Navy/General Dynamics Bath Iron Works/Getty Images


  • China has the biggest navy in the world in terms of number of vessels.
  • The Type 055 is the biggest destroyer class in China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.
  • Chinese media has touted the Type 055 as the second-most powerful in the world after the USS Zumwalt.

There are six ships in the Type 055 class.

Nanchang (101) destroyer in April 2019.

Nanchang (101) destroyer in April 2019.


Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images



The first-ever ship in the class, the Nanchang (pennant number 101), was launched in June 2017 and commissioned in January 2020. Five more have since been deployed in active service: the Lhasa (102), Anshan (104), Wuxi (107), Dalian (105), and Yan’an (106), according to geopolitical publication Special Eurasia.

The ships are part of China’s Northern Theatre Command, which encompasses Mongolia, Russian Siberia, and Korea; and the Southern Theatre Command, which encompasses the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, per Special Eurasia.

The massive ships are powered by six turbine generators, per The Diplomat.

The first Type 055, Nanchang (101) guided-missile destroyer.

The first Type 055, Nanchang (101) guided-missile destroyer.


Xinhua/Li Tang/Getty Images



The ships use four gas turbines that generate a total of 150,000 horsepower. They have a cruising speed of 30 knots (56 kilometers per hour). The ships can accommodate over 300 crew on board.

Lhasa, the second ship in the class, was seen sailing as far as the Sea of Japan in June, according to Global Times.

The ships cost 6 billion Chinese yuan ($920 million) per unit, according to Military Watch Magazine, making it far less expensive than the USS Zumwalt.

Sailors stand on the deck of the new type 055 guide missile destroyer Nanchang of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in April 2019.

Sailors stand on the deck of the new type 055 guide missile destroyer Nanchang of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in April 2019.


Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images



One Zumwalt unit costs the US Navy $7 billion, according to Foreign Policy. 

While the Type 055 is less expensive than its American counterpart, it costs more than other notable Chinese vessels. According to the SCMP, the Chinese Navy’s Type 054D, which was once its prized class of warships, cost half of the Type 055. The Type 055 represents a “major qualitative leap” for China in terms of developing top-notch surface combatants, according to a 2020 report by the US Naval War College.

Unlike the Zumwalt destroyers, the Type 055 has advanced stealth capabilities, according to Military Watch Magazine.

The new type 055 guide missile destroyer Nanchang of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in April 2019.

The new type 055 guide missile destroyer Nanchang of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in April 2019.


Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images



The Type 055 has dual band radar systems, the Type 346B Dragon Eye, that the US Navy had “failed to integrate” onto the Zumwalts, per the publication.

In addition to advanced radars, the Type 055 also has torpedoes, and it can carry two helicopters: the Harbin Z-9 and the Changhe Z-18.

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