U.S. fears China obtained classified Aegis technology for new destroyer


26 March 2003

China is building a new destroyer in Shanghai that could be a copy of the U.S. Aegis-equipped missile ship. It is the third of four new ships.

The first two ships were built for anti-submarine warfare and general purpose combat. The third ship, according to intelligence sources, will be the first People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer dedicated to anti-aircraft warfare.

The ship will have a displacement of about 8,500 tons and is expected to be equipped with a high powered phased array radar — the key element in U.S. Aegis ships. U.S. officials suspect the Chinese may have obtained classified U.S. radar technology on the SPY-1 radar. Like the Aegis, the Chinese ship will have four panels on its radar.

Speculation is that the ship will include a Chinese-made radar-surface-to-air missile complex. China purchased two Russian RIF naval SAM systems last year, which have a range of up to 90 kilometers that would be used against Taiwan's 235 kilometer-range air-launched Harpoon missiles.

The RIF is based on the highly-effective Russian S-300 missile systems.

The new warship would be used by Chinese forces in an attack on Taiwan.