China’s military on Wednesday launched a new type of domestically-built destroyer, the latest addition to the country’s rapidly expanding navy.
The 10,000-ton warship was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, making it the first of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s “new generation” destroyers, Reuters reports, citing Chinese state media.
The newest warship is “equipped with new air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons,” Xinhua news agency was quoted as saying.
According to the Global Times newspaper, the ship is believed to be the first Type 055 destroyer, which is considered to be a successor class to the smaller Type 052D guided missile destroyers.
Chinese media showed photos of the new ship covered in streamers and flags and flanked by rows of sailors.
The vessel will have to undergo planned testing before it is commissioned into use.
China is producing warships at a rapid clip as it modernizes its navy, which has been taking an increasingly prominent role among the country’s armed forces.
According to state media, the navy commissioned 18 ships, including destroyers, corvettes and guided-missile frigates in 2016.
In April, China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, a conventionally powered ship that likely won’t enter service until 2020.
China’s naval build-up, and its increasingly assertive stance over disputed territory in the South China, has unnerved its neighbors, Reuters noted.
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