søndag 11. april 2021

China deploys fast-attack missile catamarans in SCS

They’re fast, around 36 or 38 knots, and also well-armed. Each boat boasts eight launchers for YJ-83 subsonic anti-ship missiles and a fast-firing 30mm H/PJ-13 Gatling gun on the bow to engage aerial targets and provide fire support. Short-range air defense is apparently entrusted to man-portable air defense systems operated by the crew.

These prolific “chase” vessels — China has reportedly built at least 80 Type 022 fast-attack catamarans — were chiefly chiefly considered a coastal defense asset, up until now. It seems they are nowing being in a more expeditionary role, which could have major strategic implications for the South China Sea.