China’s first Type 055/Renhai-class cruiser Nanchang was commissioned in January 2020, after being unveiled during the 70th anniversary naval parade in Qing-dao. China military analysts assert the 12,000-ton ships—lethal machines with
112 vertical launch cells and sometimes classified as destroyers—are “a reflection of a major shift in China's deep blue water strategy, as safeguarding China's sovereignty, security, and oversea interests.” Keels for eight were laid down from 2017 to 2020, with at least four more planned. In the future, they may be armed with electromagnetic railguns.
In April, the Nanchang conducted combat training off Qingdao and in May completed its first known maritime replenishment training. China naval analysts noted that this training is “an important part of its combat capability generation program.” The ability to conduct underway replenishment is an imperative for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which expects the Type 055 cruisers to perform far seas missions accompanying aircraft carriers or leading independent naval task groups.
“China’s First Type 055 Destroyer Nanchang Commissioned,” China Daily, 12 January 2020
Liu Xuanzun, “Chinese Navy Commissions First Type 055 Destroyer,” Global Times, 12 January 2020
Manfred Meyer, Modern China’s Maritime Forces: A Compilation of Ships and Boats of the Chinese Navy, Coast Guard, Maritime Militia and Other State Authorities (The Admiralty Triology Group, 2020)
Liu Xuanzun, “China Reveals Large Destroyer’s Replenishment Training for 1st time,” Global Times, 12 May 2020
Liu Xuanzun, “China’s Type 055 Destroyer Has Anti-stealth, Anti-satellite Capabilities: Report,” Global Times, 11 September 2020
Eric Wertheim, “China’s Luyang III/Type 052D Destroyer Is a Potent Adversary,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 146, no. 1 (January 2021): 92–93
Andrew Tate, “China’s Second Type 075 Amphibious Assault Ship Launched in Shanghai,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 22 April 2020.