Yuan Wang-class tracking ship
|This article is outdated. (November 2010)|
Yuanwang 2 in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand on 27 October 2005. The ship was resupplying after being at sea to support the Shenzhou 6 spaceflight.
|Builders:||Yuan Wang 1 and 2 - Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai / Yuan Wang 3 to 6 - China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Shanghai|
|Operators:||People's Liberation Army Navy|
|Displacement:||~21,000 tons (Yuan Wang 1 and 2: 10,000+ / Yuan Wang 3 and 4 18,000)|
|Length:||Yuan Wang 1 - 156.09 m / Yuan Wang 2 - 191 metres; Yuan Wang 3-6 - N/A|
|Beam:||Yuan Wang 1 - 20.6 metres / Yuan Wang 2 - 22 metres; Yuan Wang 3-6 - N/A|
|Propulsion:||Sulzer Ltd. diesel engine|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
|Complement:||Yuan Wang 1 - 200 / Yuan Wang 2 - 470; Yuan Wang 3-6 - N/A|
|Aircraft carried:||none, but capable of handling either Super Frelon or Z-8|
The Yuanwang-class (远望; meaning "Long View") are used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
The detailed specifications of the ships are not released by the PLAN. They are thought to have a displacement tonnage of around 21,000 tons when fully loaded, with a crew of about 470 and a length of about 190 metres (620 ft). Their propulsion is from one Sulzer Ltd. diesel engine, with a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h).
The class was first proposed by Premier Zhou Enlai in 1965, and the idea was personally approved by Mao Zedong in 1968. The first two ships of the class, Yuanwang 1 and Yuanwang 2, were built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai and put to sea on 31 August 1977 and 1 September 1978 respectively. The general designer of this class is Mr. Xu Xueyan (许学彦, 1924- ). For the first time, this gave the PRC the ability to track launches and satellites that were not over their territory.
The first survey mission of the two ships was during May 1980. After being used for tracking of the launches of indigenously developed communications satellites, Yuanwang 1 and Yuanwang 2 underwent overhauls in 1986, so they could be used for supporting international satellite launches by the PRC.
Two further ships of the class have been built. The first was Yuanwang 3, which was commissioned on 20 October 1995. The Yuanwang 4 tracking ship was constructed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation and delivered to the China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General on 18 July 1999. It had been converted from the previously used Xiang Yang Hong 10 scientific survey ship.
Another two Yuanwang-class vessels were launched in Shanghai in early 2007.
- Yuanwang 1 in the Yellow Sea
- Yuanwang 2 about 1500 km (about 900 statute miles) southwest of French Polynesia
- Yuanwang 3 off the Namibian coast
- Yuanwang 4 off the coast of Western Australia in the Indian Ocean
- Yuanwang 1 - 1977
- Yuanwang 2 - 1978
- Yuanwang 3 - 1995
- Yuanwang 4 - 1999
- Yuanwang 5 - 2007
- Yuanwang 6 - 2007
- Yuanwang 21 - Launched on 29 November 2012, Long March 5 transport ship
A list of similar ships:
- USNS Range Tracker (T-AGM-1) 1961-1969
- USNS Range Recoverer (T-AGM-2) 1960-1972
- USNS Longview (T-AGM-3) 1960-?
- USNS Richfield (T-AGM-4) 1960-1968
- USNS Sunnyvale (T-AGM-5) 1960-1974
- USNS Watertown (T-AGM-6) 1960-1971
- USNS Huntsville (T-AGM-7) 1960-1974
- USNS Wheeling (T-AGM-8) 1962-1990
- USNS General H. H. Arnold (T-AGM-9)
- USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM-10) 1964-1999
- USNS Twin Falls (T-AGM-11) 1960-1969
- USNS American Mariner (T-AGM-12) 1959-1964
- USNS Sword Knot (T-AGM-13) 1964-1972?
- USNS Rose Knot (T-AGM-14) 1964-1969
- USNS Coastal Sentry (T-AGM-15)
- USNS Coastal Crusader (T-AGM-16) 1964-1977
- USNS Timber Hitch (T-AGM-17) 1967-1979
- USNS Sampan Hitch (T-AGM-18) 1964-1973
- USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19)
- USNS Redstone (T-AGM-20) 1964-?
- USNS Mercury (T‑AGM‑21) 1964-1974?
- USNS Range Sentinel (T-AGM-22)
- USNS Observation Island (T-AGM-23) 1977–present
- USNS Invincible (T-AGM-24) 2000–present
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yuan Wang 2 (ship, 1978).|
- Some Yuan Wang Tracking Events
- Global Security
- World Navies Today
- Dearnaley, Mathew (27 October 2005). "Giant Chinese space-tracking ship makes rare visit". New Zealand Herald.
- "Giant Chinese space-tracking ship makes visit". New Zealand Herald. 25 November 2011.