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|Operators:||People's Liberation Army Navy|
|General characteristics |
|Displacement:||590 long tons (599 t) full load|
|Length:||196 ft 8 in (59.94 m)|
|Beam:||27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)|
|Draught:||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × PCR/Kolomna Type 9-D-8 diesels
2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
|Speed:||14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)|
|Range:||3,000 nmi (5,600 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)|
|Complement:||70 (10 officers)|
|Type 756 I-Band Surface Search radar
Tamir II hull mounted active search and attack sonar
The Type 010 class minesweeper is the Chinese version of the Russian Soviet T-43 class oceangoing minesweeper.
The origin of this class is rooted from the need to solve the typical problem of minesweepers: due to the special needs of the mine countermeasure requirement, the minesweeper is the most expensive type of warship to acquire and operate in terms of tonnage. In order to reduce the operational and life cycle cost, the People's Liberation Army Navy has adopted the same practice of the Royal Navy: using the minesweepers as patrol boats, and the heavy patrolling duties thus has significantly reduced the overall cost of minesweepers.
To strengthen the ship for long range heavy patrol duties, the Chinese added more weapons to their Type 010 class minesweeper, resulting in a more heavily armed version than the original Soviet T-43 class: four extra Chinese Type 61 25 mm guns (II x 2) and a single Type 90K 85 mm gun were added, while eight Chinese 14.5 mm heavy machine guns (II x 4) replaced the less powerful 12.7 mm machine guns of the original T-43 class. In addition, living accommodations were also upgraded to have some limited crew comfort improvement for the long patrol duties. This class proved itself as a good class of patrol boats during the Battle of the Paracel Islands, the 1974 naval battle fought between South Vietnam and China in the South China Sea, being the largest Chinese naval unit fought in the battle, taking on the South Vietnamese frigates eight times its size, and successfully sinking one South Vietnamese frigate and damaging the other two. Although both of the Type 010 class suffered damage, some severe, all were rapidly repaired and back on patrol with a few months. Two boats fought the battle were # 389 & # 396, and # 396 was heavily damaged in the battle and was forced to beach itself, but was repaired after the battle and was back in action. The repair cost of # 396 was the most costly among all Chinese combatants in the naval engagement.
In addition to the increased armament, the Chinese version is slightly larger than their Soviet counterparts and instead of the 58 meters length of the original Soviet T-43 class minesweeper, the Chinese Type 010 class minesweeper is 60 meters long. The Chinese Type 010 class minesweeper also has greater displacement: 590 tons instead of the 570 ton of the original Soviet T-43 class minesweeper. In order to man the extra weaponry, the numbers of total complement is increased from the original 65 - 70 of the Soviet T-43 class minesweeper to 80. Both of Type 010 and T-43 class minesweepers can be used as minelayers and submarine chasers, but the T-43 class cannot be used for patrol roles. The several units of the original T-43 class minesweepers transferred from former-Soviet Union have all being retired from active service, placed into reserve fleets subordinated to naval militia for weapon training, while some of the Type 010 class minesweepers remain active despite their age and obsolescence.
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