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LiMA 2017: China’s CSOC Presents Wide Range of Naval Vessels

CSOC military products touted to Malaysia

During LIMA 2017 in Malaysia, a wide range of large warships was presented by the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International (CSOC), which is a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). CSOC is a trading and technology cooperation platform of CSIS and has a licence from the Chinese government to export military products. It has seven shipyards, 42 marine equipment enterprises, 28 R&D institutes and 25 associated companies. CSOC is involved in six major fields: Merchant ships (including oil tankers, chemical tankers, bulk carrier, container ships, Ro-Ro ships, LNG/LPG carriers), military products, offshore projects, non-marine equipment, marine equipment, and technology import and export. It has branches in Germany, Greece, Russia, Pakistan, Egypt, Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong. The company is responsible for upgrading the 40M Fast Missile Craft for the Indonesian Navy, Chao Phraya-class frigate for the Royal Thai Navy, and Castle-class OPV for the Bangladesh Navy.

At LIMA 2017, CSOC’s offer was related purely to military products, including torpedoes (such as ET52C lightweight 323.85 mm torpedo), mines, anti-mine systems, bridge-layers, air-defence systems and C4ISR solutions. The most important element, however, was a naval offer, which included several scale models. One of them was a model of the missile attack craft (still in the development phase) which was designed for operations such as anti-access missions, patrol duties, surveillance, anti-illegal activities and sea-policing. It is planned that this vessel would be armed with supersonic surface-to-surface missiles. Although the name of such system was not revealed, CSIS admitted that the missile attack craft would be armed with one FL-3000N (TY-90) air-defence system. According to official information the combat system would also include two 12.7 mm machine guns, one single barrel 35 mm naval gun and one CM-302 anti-ship missile. The total length of this project is 63 metres, while displacement is 700 tonnes. Maximum speed is 36 knots, while the range is 1000 nautical miles at 20 knots. The crew consists of 38 men.

CSOC also promoted a project of a conventional submarine (length: 79,5 m, displacement: 2260 tonnes, maximum speed: 18 knots, range: 8000 nautical miles at 4 knots, maximum diving depth: 300 metres) armed with torpedoes and unspecified missiles (launched most likely from torpedo tubes), as well as the Tiger-class frigate for anti-air, ASW/ASuW warfare and maritime security operations (length: 119 m, displacement: 2780 tonnes, maximum speed: 27 knots, range: 4000 nautical miles at 15 knots). It is equipped with two VLS with SAM (2 x 6 cells), two launchers of surface-to-surface missiles (4 missiles in each launcher), a single barrel 76 mm naval gun, 6-barrel 30 mm naval gun, torpedo launcher and the 2410C radar. Regarding a submarine, it is believed that this is a ship that China sold to Pakistan – eight units will be delivered by 208.

An important part of CSOC’s portfolio at LIMA 2017 are other surface vessels, such as 630-ton attack/patrol craft, 1400-ton corvette and a littoral mission ship. CSOC also presented a scale model of a landing helicopter dock which can host four helicopters on a flat-top deck and eight in a hangar. Its total displacement is roughly 20,000 tonnes. According to CSOC official, this unit was designed for foreign customers.

Robert Czulda


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