Beijing: China’s Navy has commissioned a sophisticated electronic reconnaissance ship, capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock observation on multiple targets, the latest addition to Beijing’s expanding fleet amid tensions over its assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels, the state-run China Daily newspaper said on Thursday.
In a rare move, PLA Navy media outlet made public the composition of the nation’s electronic intelligence fleet comprising of six ships, including the new one.
The new ship CNS Kaiyangxing, or Mizar, with hull code 856, was delivered to a combat support flotilla of the North Sea Fleet on Tuesday morning in Qingdao, Shandong province, the daily reported.
The Kaiyangxing is capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets, the daily quoted an official PLA Navy media adding that the ship is so sophisticated that only a few countries, such as the US and Russia, are capable of developing it.
As per the details released, the PLA Navy now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels – Beijixing (Polaris), Tianwangxing (Uranus), Tianlangxing (Sirius), Haiwangxing (Neptune), Kaiyangxing (Mizar) and another whose name has not been revealed and is only known by its hull code of 855.
The report also gave specific information about the ships such as their capabilities and functions. Until now, the PLA Navy has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships.
The Kaiyangxing is a Type 815A electronic reconnaissance ship, which has a full displacement of 6,000 metric tons and a maximum speed of 20 knots, or 37 kilometers per hour, according to the Modern Navy report, which added that it is equipped with three small-caliber naval guns.