Following satellite images on April 11, H. I. Sutton, an author from Naval News, detected four Types of 055 guided-missile destroyers in the Yellow Sea, off the Yuchi naval base in Shandong Province, China.
Photos of China’s largest destroyers were released as the U.S. and Japan held joint drills in the Sea of Japan amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s missile tests.
The images showed four Type 055 guided-missile destroyers of the Renhai class, considered the most powerful and largest destroyers after the Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers of the U.S. Navy and Kirov-class cruisers of the Russian navy.
On April 12, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group entered the Sea of Japan, marking the first time a group of U.S. warships had entered the area in five years. This waterway separates Japan from Russia and the Korean Peninsula and is the area many of North Korea’s missile tests have targeted.
During a press call, Sung Yong Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea, predicted North Korea’s possible next move, saying, “I don’t want to speculate too much, but I think it could be another missile launch, it could be a nuclear test.”
The Chinese navy has eight Type 055 ships; six of them are on duty, respectively Nanchang, Lhasa Dalian, Anshan, Yanan, and Wuxi. The last one started working less than a month ago. The other two ships are Zunyi and Xianyang.
The Type 055 warship can perform a variety of roles, including hunting submarines, air defense, and surface bombardment. In addition, these ships are expected to act as fleet escorts for aircraft carriers under development by China.