China's navy takes delivery of 'stealth frigate'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 5:02am


The navy has taken delivery of a "stealth frigate" that is expected to bolster the country's maritime defences as it faces territorial disputes.

The ship, identified by Xinhua as a Type 056 stealth frigate, was delivered to the navy on Monday afternoon in a ceremony in Shanghai.

Navy commander Wu Shengli emphasised the importance of mastering the vessel's equipment and capabilities in the face of maritime disputes, according to a front-page article on Tuesday in the PLA Daily newspaper, published by the military.

Wu, also a member of the Military Commission, called for continuous improvement and growth of an elite naval force capable of fighting and winning so as to reassure president-elect Xi Jinping and other members of the commission.

In January, state media reported that the armed forces were instructed to raise their fighting ability this year and "focus closely on the objective of being able to fight and win battles".

President Hu Jintao , set to step down next month and be replaced by Xi, said in November at a Communist Party congress that China should become a "maritime power".

Yesterday's report did not specify the size of the ship but said it possessed "good stealth performance".

The vessels would mainly be used for escort missions and anti-submarine operations, it added.