China launches new 3,000-tonne coast guard cutter

8:23:00 PM
BEIJING, -- The Guangzhou Huangpu Shipyard has launched a new cutter for the China Coast Guard (CCG), Chinese media reported on 14 October.

Zhongguo Haixun 2303 - literally 'China Sea Police 2303' - is expected to begin sea trials before the end of the year and it will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2015.

CCG ship numbers work as follows: the first number stands for the fleet, with 1 standing for North Sea Fleet, 2 for East Sea Fleet, and 3 for South Sea Fleet. The second number stands for displacement, and the third number is the class-hull number.

As such, 2303 denotes that the ship belongs to the CCG's East Sea Fleet, has a displacement of 3,000 tonnes, and is designated number 03 in its class. This does not automatically mean it is the third ship to be built, as China has previously applied non-consecutive numbers to the ships it commissions.

The 2303 is part of a class of 13 ships: 4 are under the North Sea Fleet, 3 under the East Sea fleet, and 5 ships are for the South Sea Fleet. All are armed with a heavy water cannon in front of the bridge and equipped with two interceptor boats.

In one photo showing the 2303 vessel an under-construction Zubr-class landing craft air cushion (LCAC) is visible. The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has procured four LCACs from Ukraine in a USD315 million deal. Two of these were built in Ukraine and have been delivered, while the other two are being built in China under licence.

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