This Is China's Response To The US Navy's Struggling Coastal Warship Program

Type 056 CorvetteType 056 Corvette

Photo: China defence

The fact that China’s been building up its military with speed and agility recently is nothing new, but Beijing is now going head-to-head with one of the U.S. Navy’s most troubled programs.The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is meant to be part of the fleet being moved to the Pacific, and though a couple versions of the ship were put to sea four years ago, the program is still beset by problems and nowhere near combat ready.

Type 056 Corvette

Photo: China defence

Michael Fabey at Aviation Week acquired Navy documents that show the following components had issues on the LCS USS Freedom’s recent voyage:

Littoral Combat ShipUSS Freedom

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Heat, flame, smoke and flood alarms; hydraulic power unit systems, airborne mission zone lift hoist and platform; lifting capstan; gypsy winch; oily water separator and transfer pump; reverse osmosis system; watertight doors, degaussing system, gas-turbine intake plenum space; and blow-in doors.The ship also appears to be minus one of its four engines, upon which repair and reassembly work was started this month, according to the documents.

This is a ship that’s been in service for four years, cost over $600 million dollars, and is still having trouble performing basic functions — and now China has launched a littoral ship of its own.

Christian Le Miere at Naval Forces and Maritime Security reports Beijing put its first Type 056 craft into the water a few weeks ago where it will become part of a four-ship team patrolling China’s coast.

Apart from looking very similar to the U.S. LCS, the 056 will have stealth characteristics and carry some impressive weaponry like Type 87 anti-submarine rockets, AK-176 Russian 76 mm gun systems, and C-803 anti-ship missiles.

It’s these ships that China may look to when enforcing the exclusive economic zones in the country’s territorial waters. 

Now see the Navy’s other troubled $700 million LCS ship, the USS Independence >

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