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The People's Republic of China's South Sea Fleet (SSF) was first established in late 1949. The flagship of the SSF is the AOR/AK Nanchang (953).

Initially, the fleet's strength consisted mostly of former Kuomintang ships and personnel, which either defected or were captured by the People's Liberation Army. One of three fleets of the People's Liberation Army Navy, the SSF's duties were to protect the city of Guangzhou and the Pearl River regions, and support the PLA in capturing islands that were still in the hands of the Kuomintang forces. The fleet's development has been slow, because most of China's shipbuilding industry is located on the northern or eastern coasts. In the 1970s the fleet underwent a major buildup, due to conflict in the Paracel Islands and other reefs in the South China Sea. In 1974, the SSF retook the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam, which resulted in the sinking of one South Vietnamese frigate while damaging another. The latest incident was in 1988, when a Chinese naval task force engaged Vietnamese naval forces, sinking one Vietnamese warship and damaging another.

Most of the fleet's surface ships are located at Zhanjiang naval base, while all of the fleet's submarines are at Yulin navy base on Hainan Island. The SSF has many other bases included Guangzhou, Haikou, Shantou, Mawei, and Beihai, while naval air force bases are at Lingshui, Haikou, Sanya, Zhanjiang, and Guiping. The fleet's area of operations is divided into six zones.

A task group under the fleet's deputy commander, Rear Admiral Su Zhiquan, consisting of the Luyang I class destroyer Guangzhou and the tanker Weishanhu visited several European ports, including Portsmouth, Cadiz, and Toulon, in September-October 2007. During the visit the two ships conducted communications and maritime rescue drills with HMS Ark Royal.[1]

Contents

Major Naval Bases in the Fleet

The fleet headquarters was, at first, at Guangzhou, but was later relocated to Zhanjiang.

Naval air force bases:

Ships in the fleet

Fleet in action in Nan Hai

Destroyers:

Frigates:

  • 4 Jiangwei Class:
    • Yichang (564)
    • Yulin (565)
    • Yuxi (566)
    • Xiangfan (567)
  • 6 Jianghu V-Class:
    • Beihai (558)
    • Kangding (559)
    • Dongguan (560)
    • Shantou (561)
    • Jiangmen (562)
    • Foshan (563)
  • 4 Jianghu II-Class:
    • Shaoguan (553)
    • Anshun (554)
    • Zhaotong (555)
    • Jishou (557)

Diesel-Electric submarines:

Landing ships:

  • 11 Yuting-Class LST:
    • 991
    • 934
    • 935
    • 936
    • 937
    • 938
    • 939
    • 940
    • 908
    • 909
    • 910
  • 4 Qiongsha-Class troop transport ships:
    • NY830
    • NY831
    • NY832
    • NY833
    • NY834
    • NY835
  • 1 hospital ship
  • 4 Yudao-Class LSMs

See also

External links and references

  1. ^ Jon Rosamund, 'China completes joint exercise with UK aircraft carrier,' Jane's Navy International, October 2007, p.6
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