Type 22 missile boat

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Drawing of Chinese Fast Attack Craft 2208 - Type-022 Houbei-Class
Class overview
NameType 22
BuildersHudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, Shanghai
Operators People's Liberation Army Navy
Preceded byType 037-II-class missile boat & C 14-class missile boat
CostEstimates vary from $14.3 million to $50 million per boat[1][2][3]
In commission2004–present
General characteristics
Displacement220 long tons (224 t) full load
Length42.6 m (139 ft 9 in)
Beam12.2 m (40 ft 0 in)
Draught1.5 m (4 ft 11 in)
Propulsion2 diesel engines @ 6,865 hp (5,119 kW) with 4 waterjet propulsors by MARI
Speed36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Surface search radar: 1 Type 362
  • Navigational radar: 1
  • Electro-optics: HEOS 300
NotesDetails remain speculative

The Type 22 (NATO designation: Houbei class)[5] missile boat is a ship class in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. The first boat was launched in April 2004 by the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard at Shanghai. The boats incorporate stealth features and are based on Australian-designed wave-piercing catamaran hulls that are more stable than other fast missile craft in high sea conditions.[6] 82 of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas having been produced over a span of seven years,[1] operating in squadrons of eight vessels each.[7]


The Type 22 fast attack craft are China's entry into a growing list of missile-armed attack craft which include Finland's Hamina class missile boat, and Norway's Skjold class patrol boat. The Australian AMD catamaran design may mean as much as a 50% reduction in vessel speed penalty in high sea conditions (in which monohulls may only perform at half or less of their maximum capability). Further, seasickness and disorientation is significantly reduced, improving the combat readiness/situational awareness of the small-craft operators during such conditions.

The polygonal-designed superstructure with its similarly angled gun mount indicates a reduced radar cross-section, although probably not enough to be a full stealth-ship as it is built from aluminium rather than composites, and also has a lot of reflective "clutter" in form of rails, searchlights and launchers on the deck;[3] the ships have been shown to be visible using synthetic aperture radar from satellites.[7] The Type 22 has an advanced C4 datalink[4] that may represent some kind of capability to allow AWACS planes or other ships to vector the Type 22's missiles. The aluminium hull is reported to use friction stir welding.[8]


The Type 22 is designed to patrol China's coastal areas and operate within its littoral zone. As each of the 83 ships is armed with eight anti-ship missiles, it is speculated by some observers that a large number of missile craft firing in salvos can potentially overwhelm an enemy fleet, including an aircraft carrier battle group. Although an offensive missile attack poses a threat to hostile surface ships, historically small missile boats have fared poorly in major naval confrontations against larger vessels and aircraft, so the Type 22 is vulnerable when operating outside of air defense cover.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Axe, David (August 4, 2011). "China Builds Fleet of Small Warships While U.S. Drifts". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  2. ^ "China's Project 022 Fast Attack Craft". defencetalk.com.
  3. ^ a b "Information Dissemination: Janes Discusses Chinese Streetfighter". informationdissemination.net.
  4. ^ a b Catamarans Glide Through Chinese Waters
  5. ^ "HJB 394-2007 22型导弹快艇规范". 国家标准行业标准信息服务网. 2007-04-30.
  6. ^ "China's Houbei class fast-speed missile boats". China Daily Mail.
  7. ^ a b This is What a Chinese Stealth Warship Looks Like on Radar. USNI News. 27 September 2021.
  8. ^ Fred Delany, Stephan W Kallee, Mike J Russell: Friction Stir Welding of Aluminium Ships, Paper presented at 2007 International Forum on Welding Technologies in the Shipping Industry (IFWT). Held in conjunction with the Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair in Shanghai, 16–19 June 2007.

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