China's PLAN 052D destroyer is equipped with new vertical launching system. Compared with 052C destroyer, the new system is able to contain large-scale weapons, including “DH-10” cruise missile and “HQ-9” long-range air-defense missile. The number of missile launch devices also increases from 48 to 64, giving 052D stronger firepower than 052C.
As for the vertical launch function of 052D new-type missile destroyer, military expert Yin Zhuo said that the vertical launching technique has been used in many countries actually, such as the U.S. and Russia. Our vertical launching function has also been used on 052C and 054A vessels. The launching launch has the advantage of rapid response. For example, a vertically launched air defense missile can be instantly redirected to attack a sea-skimming missile. Second, the vessel body doesn’t need to change in the process of vertical launching. The anti-ship missile in the past used fixed launchers, so they needed to set rotation angle, or the vessel needed to maneuver to aim at target. By comparison, vertical launch does not need this process so it will enhance our abilities of rapid response.
According to Yin Zhuo, the differences between 052D and the most advanced missile destroyer in the world include: first, there are still gaps in the information level. Compared with the most advanced destroyers in the world, our functions in information level is relatively inferior. For example, there are differences in the response time, bandwidth of transmission, immunity from interference and anti-destruction ability.
Second, there are also differences in the maturity of techniques. Our phased array radar in the destroyer is flat, which is different from the curved one on 052C. It features more powerful functions and multi-target tracking and handling capabilities. But there are still differences in terms of maturity of our techniques comparing with the most advanced destroyers throughout the world.