China is estimated to be building at least 40 Type 056 corvettes with a pricetag of US$8 billion to compete against the United States' littoral combat ships deployed to the Asia-Pacific region. The US Navy plans to operate four littoral combat ships from its base in Singapore by 2018 according to the Diplomat, an online current affairs magazine based in Tokyo. It will become a great obstacle for China to put the disputed South China Sea under its control then.
Littoral combat ships are not the only threat that the Type 056 corvette is going to engage with in the hotly contested Asian coastal waters. The Sina News Network suggested the corvette would also be used to counter the six Russian-built Kilo-class submarines of the Vietnamese navy and the one South Korean-built Chang Bogo-class submarine of the Philippine Navy. The piece went on to say that the Type 056 is a perfect platform from which to enhance the anti-submarine warfare capability of the PLA Navy.
For years, China has tried various methods to improve the air defense and anti-submarine capabilities of the PLA Navy. H/SJG-206 low frequency towed array sonar systems had been installed to China's advanced surface combat vessels such as Type 054A frigates, Type 052C destroyers and Type 052D destroyers recently. However, the smaller-size Type 056 is more suitable to fight against enemy submarines in a region with shallow waters such as the South China Sea.
The People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force Type 056 Jiangdao Class Light Corvettes carries 2× 2-cell YJ-83 (C-803) Sea Simming Anti-Ship Missiles and 1x8-Cell HHQ-10 / FL-3000N (Chinese RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile) short-range.