The three warships forming the small fleet that set sail from Sanya in south China's Hainan Province for escort mission off Somali are among the most sophisticated vessels of the Chinese navy.
A ceremony is held before a Chinese naval fleet sets sail from a port in Sanya city of China's southernmost island province of Hainan on Dec. 26, 2008. The Chinese naval fleet including two destroyers and a supply ship from the South China Sea Fleet set off on Friday for waters off Somalia for an escort mission against piracy. [Zha Chunming/Xinhua]
The flagship of the fleet, DDG-169 Wuhan, is a multi-purpose missile destroyer of Type 052B of the People's Liberation Army Navy. It was built by Jiangnan Shipyard of Shanghai in 2002.
With a displacement of 7,000 tonnes, DDG-169 Wuhan is equipped with 16 anti-ship missiles, 48 surface-to-air missiles, close-in weapons system and a helicopter.
DDG-171 Haikou, the Navy's latest destroyer model, is one of the two Type 052C destroyers. It was built by Jiangnan Shipyard in2003.
DDG-171 Haikou is equipped with China's first generation of phased-array radar and a vertically launched long-range air defence missile system. It will provide air defense the fleet. The ship displaces nearly 7,000 tonnes.
Type 052C destroyers provide the Navy with China's first true aerial defense capability. Both the Wuhan and Haikou have a maximum speed of 30 knots.