If you see the smile of a new man, how can you hear the sobs of an old man? This phrase is the best suited for the recently decommissioned destroyer type 051 “Kaifeng”, “Dalian”, “Jugni” and “Guilin”. They represent the domestic shipbuilding at the initial stage of China’s formation, the “younger generation” of destroyers of type 051. After they were decommissioned, two other destroyers of the same type, the Zhangjiang and Zhuhai, which entered service in the late 1980s and early 1990s, became the oldest destroyers in the Chinese Navy.
Now it may seem to us that there is nothing advanced left in the destroyers of type 051, and yet the decision of China, whose fleet has been going through hard times for ten years, to write off four ships at once was unexpected. According to analysts, this happened because there were so many new ships in the fleet that there were no names of urban districts in the country that could be given to them as a Board number. If these “veterans” do not go to the “nursing home” to enjoy life on the slope of years, for the new ships type 052D and 055 simply will not be free space. Very soon the news of the write-off of four ships of type 051 reached Russia, where people interested in military topics, treated it in a very curious way. The oldest of the four destroyers — “Kaifeng” 37 years, and the younger — “Guilin” — 32 years. Their heyday falls on the 80-ies when the rise was also experienced by the Soviet fleet. The Russian Navy still has many large battleships, for example, the nuclear cruiser Kirov (a heavy nuclear missile cruiser, the head ship of the project 1144 Orlan). From 1992 to 2002 it was called “Admiral Ushakov”. In 2002, withdrawn from the fleet and is awaiting disposal — approx. ed.), the cruiser “Atlant” (missile cruisers project 1164 (code “Atlant”) — a class of Soviet missile cruisers, occupying an intermediate position between the heavy nuclear missile cruisers and destroyers — approx. ed.), aircraft carrier “Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov” (heavy aircraft carrier — approx. ed.) — all of them were built in the same period.
Now, when it has been more than 30 years, and destroyers type 051, which at one time could not be compared with the large Soviet ships, retire, the advantage still remains for the Russian fleet, dominated by all the same “old men”.
But even more strange is that decommissioned Chinese destroyers are almost as good as modern Russian ones and differ from them only in tonnage and some characteristics. At the same time, they are in better condition than many Russian ships. If we do not take into account the outdated technologies that give age and judged only by how they are preserved, there are people who believe that they were built at the beginning of this century.
That is why those interested in military Affairs of Russia and left under this news comments like this: “would Give Russia all four… In the photo as good as new. Not even rusty.…»
Of course, it’s just a joke. Destroyers type 051, whose displacement does not exceed 3 thousand 700 tons, can be compared only with the patrol ships of the project 054A. It would be difficult for the Russian shipbuilding industry to build such large ships as an aircraft carrier or a destroyer, but the construction of medium and small ships weighing no more than five thousand tons is not a problem for Russia.
However, the problem is different. The name “Nanchang”, which used to belong to the ship entered service before the “Kaifeng” is now a ship of type 055. And in Russia, the name of Admiral Gorshkov was originally named aircraft carrier, and then the name passed to the frigate of the project 22350, whose displacement is less than 5 thousand tons. Everything flows, everything changes, students replace teachers, perhaps this was the real reason for the experiences of those who care about the Russian fleet.