This is the first Chinese Navy Luhai-class destroyer, displaying South Sea Fleet pendant number 167 when photographed at Dalian Shipyard, just prior to commencing sea trials in October 1998. About 20% larger than the preceding two-ship Luhu class, the Luhai differs principally in having double the number of fixed canister launchers amidships (16) for C-801 or C-802 antiship missiles. Unlike the Luhus, the Luhai lacks a variable-depth sonar, and no antisubmarine rocket launchers are seen in the available photography. Also missing is the enormous antenna for the Luhus' Hai Ying ("God Eye") longrange air-search radar; instead, a Sea Eagle (Rice Field) three-dimensional search radar is fitted atop the after pylon mast and an old-fashioned Type 363 radar, with television-type antenna, is fitted just forward of the after stack. If the Luhai has the same 53,600 maximum horsepower combined diesel-or-gas turbine propulsion system as the smaller Luhus, maximum speed should be well under 30 knots. Some reports, however, indicate that four 27,000-shaft-horsepower Ukrainian gas turbines are fitted instead.
By A. D. Baker III