Chinese naval threats have grown by leaps and bounds during the past decade. No class of surface warship has demonstrated this newfound naval might more than the modern Luyang III–class guided-missile destroyers, also known as the Type 052D, which began entering service in 2014.
These air-defense destroyers are fitted with the four-panel Type 346A (NATO reporting name: Dragon Eye) multifunction phased-array radar system, which is combined with a 64-cell missile vertical launching system (VLS) to offer long-range area air-defense, modern antiship, and—potentially—land-attack cruise-missile capabilities.
The VLS launchers are fitted in two 32-cell sets, one forward of the helicopter hangar and a second aft of the 5.1-inch gun. Carried inside is a reported mix of HHQ-9 surface-to-air (SAM), YJ-18 antiship cruise (ASCM), and CY-5 antisubmarine missiles.