China Launches A New Long-Range Anti-Submarine Detection Ship
There are a few capabilities which only a handful of navies have. Extremely long-range anti-submarine detection ships is one of them. The Japanese Navy (JMSDF) recently commissioned it's third Hibiki Class ocean surveillance ship, Aki. This distinctive catamaran carries the SURTASS (surveillance towed-array sensor system) sonar. SURTASS is designed to detect and track submarines at long ranges. It is a capability shared with the US Navy which also operates similar catamarans in the role.
These ships are extremely stable even in rough weather, a vital requirement. China is also believed to have a similar system, and there is new evidence that it is growing this capability.
China has launched another Type-927 sound detection ship, the Chinese Navy (PLAN) equivalent to the SURTASS. The ship was launched at the Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan last year and has been in a fitting-out berth since then.
The SWATH (small-waterplane-area twin hull) hull is generally similar to American and Japanese designs. Interestingly it does not seem to have been enlarged or substantially modified despite a break in production (this could be described as a 'batch 2' type-927).
One of the earlier hulls outside the Wuchang Shipyard, 2017
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The SWATH hull was first implemented in the catamaran Type 639 oceanographic surveillance ships. 6 were built between 2006 and 2013. Five of them were modified for hydrographic survey . The first three of the larger Type-927 followed from 2017. The Type-927 is generally reported as a class of three but this new example confirms that it is growing.
The SWATH hull form was first used on the Type-639 oceanographic surveillance ships, shown here. The below-waterline form of the Type-927 is likely similar.
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