Navios Apollon: China used FFG-526 Wenzhou

China received thanks for its part in the ransom of the Navios Apollon. The Chinese warship Wenzhou escorted the Navios Apollon and crew and provided needed support after their prolonged period in captivity. FFG-526 Wenzhou is the second hull of the Type 054 (Jiangkai-I Class) Missile Frigate.
The Type 054 (NATO codename: Jiangkai-I Class) is the multirole missile frigate built by the Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard and the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard for the PLA Navy. Production of the first-of-class, Ma’anshan (525), was begun in late 2002 at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard. The frigate was launched on 11 September 2003 and commissioned on 18 February 2005. The second hull Wenzhou (526) was launched at the Huangpu Shipyard on 30 November 2003 at Huangpu Shipyard and it was commissioned in 2006. The Type 054 production stopped after only two hulls were commissioned due to the introduction of the more capable Type 054A Jiangkai-II Class.

The Type 054 incorporates a number of stealthy features, including the sloped side to minimise radar cross section and the reduced profiles of external features. The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for a medium size helicopter, such as the Russian Kamov Ka-28 Helix, or the indigenous Harbin Z-9C. The deck is fitted with the helicopter handling system. The frigate has a full displacement of 4,300t.


The primary surface strike weapon system is the YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. Two quadruple launchers are installed at the mid-ship position. The missile uses active radar-homing to deliver a 165kg warhead to a range in excess of 180km.

The main air defence weapon is an 8-cell HongQi-7 (French Thales Crotale copy) short-range SAM system, designed to engage aircraft in all-weather, day/night conditions at a maximum range of 8~12km with line-of-sight guidance. The missile also has limited capability to intercept sea-skimming anti-ship missiles at a much closer range (4~6km).


The main gun on the bow deck is an indigenous single-barrel 100mm gun developed by 713 Institute on the basis of the French Creusot-Loire T100C design. The gun can be used against surface targets and air targets such as aircraft and low speed missile, with a maximum rate of fire of 90 rounds/min. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually.

For air defence the ship was equipped the destroyer has four six-barrel 30mm AK-630 close-in weapon systems (CIWs). The maximum rate of fire is 5,000 rounds/min. Range is up to 4,000m for low flying anti-ship missiles and 5,000m for light surface targets. The gun is equipped with radar and television detection and tracking.

The ship also has two Type 87 six-tube anti-submarine rocket launchers, with 36 rockets (240mm calibre, 34kg warhead). The maximum range is 1,200m.


The Type 054 has a Chinese indigenous sensor suite consisting of a Chinese Indigenous Type 360S 2D air/surface radar (E/F-band, max range: 150km to aircraft and 50km to sea-skimming missile); a Type 347G radar (I-band) for CIWS fire-control, a Type 344 radar (I/J-band) for main gun and anti-ship missile targeting, and a Type 345 radar (J-band) for HQ-7 SAM fire-control. The ship also has an MR-36A surface search radar operating at I-band.


The Type 054 is reportedly fitted with a Russian MGK-335 fixed sonar suite, including Bull Horn active and Whale Tongue passive hull-mounted, medium frequency search and attack sonar. Due to limited information available, this claim cannot be confirmed.


The ship is equipped with two 18-tube multiple rocket launchers at the mid-ship position. They are thought to be used to launch decoys/chaffs. The round radome installed on top of the helicopter hanger and few smaller round radom

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