The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Type 22 fast attack crafts (FAC) conducted training exercise in waters of the East China Sea in late March, 2018.
The missile boats involved in the maritime attack and defense training exercise were attached to a group with the PLA Navy under the PLA Eastern Theater Command.
Type 22 Missile Boat
Type 22 (NATO designation: Houbei class) 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.
In addition to the stealthy polygonal-designed superstructure with its stealthy gun mount, the Type 22 has an advanced C4 (Command, Control, Communication, and Computers) datalink 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.
The Type 22 is designed to patrol China’s coastal areas and operate within its littoral zone. Each of the 83 ships is armed with eight anti-ship missiles (AShM). It is also armed with possible QW class MANPAD missiles and one licensed copy of KBP AO-18 6-barrel 30 mm gun (AK-630).
Approximately 83 of these missile boats are currently in service with three flotillas having been produced over a span of seven years.