Type 909 weapon trials ship
Type 909 weapon trial ship with NATO reporting name Wuhu-B class and its successor Type 909A are Chinese weapon trials ships developed for its People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). A total of three ships have entered service by mid-2014.
Type 909 is the first purposely built weapon trial ship in PLAN, and in addition to conduct weapon trials for missiles, guns and rockets, the ship is also tasked to test out electronic systems such as radars, communication systems and electronic intelligence and warfare systems. Design incorporates specially designed accommodations for research crew to carry out their mission. The pennant number of Type 909 went through several changes, originally 909, and this was changed to 970 to avoid confusing with the type number. Subsequently, the pennant number was changed to 891. Originally only with pennant number but without any name, the ship was finally formally named as Bi Sheng on October 10, 2002.
After nearly one and half a decade after the first Type 909 entered service, a successor Type 909A entered PLAN service as Hua Luogeng. Currently, the assignments were split between two ships, with Bi Sheng (# 891) tasked to conduct trials for missiles launched from container/launcher, while Hua Luogeng (#892) tasked to conduct all missiles that are vertically lunched from vertical launching system. However, it must be said that such division of work is only due to administrative purposes, not technical limitation, because both ships are capable of conducting trials for both vertically launched missiles and those are not vertically launched. In 2012, another Type 909A with pennant number 893 entered PLAN service, and it is rumored its name is Zu Chongzhi by many Chinese internet claims, but this has yet to be confirmed by official or independent sources.
Type 909 and 909A weapon trial ships are named after Chinese scientists. Specification:
- Displacement (t): 4630
- Speed (kt): 18
- Propulsion: 2 diesel engines @ 14000 hp
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