Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has reportedly launched its seventh Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship at Hudong-Zhonghua (HDZH) Shipyard on 8 September.
The Type 815 electronic surveillance ships have a highly distinctive profile with very large spherical radomes, which are likely to be covering sensitive dish antennas for intercepting and collecting very low-power radio signals.
According to the MSA alert, 7th Type 815A electronic surveillance ship was launched at HDZH shipyard this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/IRHLACA1lY
— dafeng cao (@xinfengcao) September 8, 2017
About Type 815 electronic surveillance ship:
Type 815 electronic surveillance ships are the newest electronic surveillance ships (also called spy ships) in service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy of China.
In addition to collecting electronic intelligence, this class is also tasked to perform ballistic missile tracking.
Type 815G is an improved version of Type 815 and has a different mast similar to a pagoda shape, and the sheer line is curved at a greater angle.
Type 815A is further improved Type 815 that can be visually distinguished from earlier Type 815G in the radome above the pilothouse. The radome of Type 815A is a cylinder with flat top surface, while the top of cylinder radome of earlier Type 815G has a semi-sphere.
A total of six ships have been commissioned in to the Navy – one Type 815, four Type 815G and one Type 815A. The vessels in service are allocated evenly between the PLA Navy’s North, East, and South Sea fleets.
The first Type 815A ship entered service with Chinese navy in January 2017.