China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state media reported on Monday. Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last Friday in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.
Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers. China now has 20 Type 052Ds either in active service or being fitted out for service soon, the report said.
Destroyers are fast, highly manoeuvrable long distance warships which are also used to accompany the aircraft carriers.
The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) last month celebrated its 70th anniversary in which Indian naval ships, including the indigenously developed missile destroyer, INS Kolkata along with tanker INS Shakti took part in the fleet review held at Qingdao.
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While it has one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning which was commissioned in 2012, its second indigenously built aircraft carrier is currently undergoing trials and a third one is being built at a feverish pace. China plans to acquire about five to six aircraft carriers in the coming years, according to reports in the official media.
As part of the new military doctrine advocated by President Xi Jinping, the 2.3 million-strong Chinese military, the largest in the world, has cut down the size of its army by three lakhs in the last few years and expanded its navy and air force manifold to enhance its global influence.
The US Navy currently operates more than 60 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and more than 20 Ticonderoga-class cruisers.