China’s Giant New Cruiser Matches America’s Naval Firepower

Chinese state television has broadcast the first clear, overhead view of the Chinese navy’s first Type 055 cruiser. The image confirms what foreign analysts have expected since the new cruiser began taking shape in 2014.

The Type 055 carries no fewer than 122 missiles in vertical cells — any mix of anti-air, anti-ship and land-attack models. That matches the weapons-loadout of the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers … and exceeds the armament of every other surface warship in the Pacific region.

The new cruiser could enter service as early as 2018.

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