Sixty years ago, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy acquired its first destroyer. Today, PLA Navy destroyers can be seen patrolling China’s territorial waters, escorting China’s aircraft carrier on the high seas, in joint international military exercises, or conducting anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. With China’s growing national strength and the accelerated development of the navy, new destroyers with more advanced technologies constantly emerge.
The 07-type destroyer originated from a torpedo attack ship designed by the Soviet Union in the 1930s. The Soviet Union sold four such ships to China. China received two in Qingdao on Oct. 14, 1954, and another two on June 28 the next year. They were named Anshan, Fushun, Changchun and Taiyuan, and numbered 101, 102, 103, and 104, respectively. They were known as the “Four Mighty Warriors”.
The PLA Navy refitted the 07-type ships. After the torpedo launch tube was replaced by two sets of anti-ship missile launchers, they became guided missile destroyers. During late 1980s and early 1990s, the four destroyers, which had served for more than 30 years, retired from combat service. The Fushun destroyer was dismantled, but the other three other ships are still used to conduct visits or as venues for academic courses.