Real displacement of Type 052D destroyers

Most public sources claim that PLAN’s Type 052D destroyer has a full displacement of 7,500 metric tons3, or 500 tons more than its predecessor, the Type 052C destroyer. One reputable source put its displacement much higher at 8,500 metric tons1. My own analysis of publicly available photographs led me to conclude that the full displacement lies between these two values. Let’s take a deep dive.

Photographic evidence

The full displacement draft is just above 6.4 meters.
Source: Wikipedia

On some of the earlier ships of the class, the full displacement appears to have been just below 6.4m:

Early Type 052D unit with slightly shallower draft
Source: Chinese Internet

The predecessor Type 052C class had a draft of 6 meters, or about 0.4m less, as can be seen from the photo below:

Type 052C draft at 6m
Source: Chinese Internet

Because the Type 052D is built on essentially the same hull as the Type 052C, the underwater part of the hull remains unchanged. Therefore, we can use the block coefficient computed from Type 052C’s dimensions to gauge the full displacement of the Type 052D destroyer based on the roughly 0.45m deeper draft and the 0.26m wider waterline beam, as I have done in the table below:

ClassType 052CType 052D
Extreme beam [m]1717
Waterline beam [m] (W)15.515.76
Length overall [m]155156
Waterline length [m] (L)144144.75
Draft marker [m] (D)66.45
Full displacement [mt] (FD)700027691
Block coefficient (L*W*D/FD)0.520.52
Full displacement comparison of Type 052C and Type 052D destroyers

I have derived the beam increase by measuring the angle of the flared hull and using simple trigonometry:

Conclusion

Based on the photographic data and the assumption that the classes share the same underwater hull, I have derived that Type 052D destroyers displace roughly 700 tons more than Type 052C destroyers, i.e. 7,700 metric tons or 10% more. This makes for a significant growth, particularly because the propulsion remained unchanged. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that Type 052D destroyers have lower top speed and shorter range compared to the Type 052C destroyers.

References

  1. Caldwell, Daniel; Freda, Joseph; and Goldstein, Lyle J., “China Maritime Report No. 5: China’s Dreadnought? The PLA Navy’s Type 055 Cruiser and Its Implications for the Future Maritime Security Environment” (2020). CMSI China Maritime Reports. 5. Link: https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cmsi-maritime-reports/5
  2. Saunders, Stephan, ed. (2009). Jane’s Fighting Ships 2009-2010. Jane’s Information Group. p. 137. ISBN 978-0710628886.
  3. Stephen Saunders (2015). Jane’s Fighting Ships 2015–2016. IHS Janes Information Group. p. 138

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