US military authorities are concerned about the possibility of China providing Iran a whole fleet of Type 022 aircraft carrier killers.
Iran is particularly interested in the Type 022 carrier killer fleet of the Chinese Navy, especially since that Beijing is less eager to maintain them in action. Beijing and Tehran are now working on a deal, but Washington lawmakers have decided to obstruct it at any costs in order to protect their fleet of aircraft carriers from a potential threat. The potential of Tehran acquiring the entire fleet of Type 022 fast attack missile ships is likely only a matter of time, though, as the United Nations’ arms embargo against Iran has since lapsed and China is entirely “immune” to the US CAATSA Act.
Type 022 missile ship with a full load displacement of 220 tons, dimensions of 42.6 metres long, 12.2 metres wide, and 1.5 metres deep; powered by two 6,865 horsepower (5,119 kW) diesel engines and four water jet engines for a top speed of 36 knots; crew of 12.
When opposed to a conventional hull (mono hull), the Type 022’s cataraman technology offers a number of benefits, including great stability and minimal inclination, the ability to travel at extremely high speeds, and increased stealth. Eight YJ-83 anti-ship cruise missiles, eight FLS-1 man-portable missiles, one cannon, and Hongniao-2 ground attack cruise missiles make up the Type 022 battleship’s arsenal. 30 mm high-speed air defence that imitates the AK-630 from Russia.
The Type 022 stealthy fast attack ship is said to only function as a mobile launcher, despite being heavily armed. This is because the integrated radar’s operating range is too short for firing missiles without target information from aircraft or other warships. The Type 022 was created by the Chinese Navy to protect its territorial waters from the massive US superiority at the time; the large number of up to 80 ships makes it ideal for asymmetrical tactics when facing powerful forces.
If there is an armed conflict situation between the two sides in the waters close to China’s territorial waters, the number of 80 Type 022 fast attack missile ships with powerful firepower will be a response to the US aircraft carrier battle group. However, in the last ten years, the Chinese Navy has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from a coastal combat force to a “blue water navy” with the capacity to project power to distant seas.
In addition to creating many Type 056 missile corvettes with a displacement of 1,500 tonnes to replace the function of Type 022 in the anti-access strategy, the Chinese navy is also building aircraft carriers, destroyers, and cruisers. The principal weapon of asymmetric warfare in close-range battles, anti-ship ballistic missiles have also been successfully tested by this force. The Chinese Navy started to give some Type 022s a “rest” after finishing a historical mission once there was a worthy “successor” because maintaining a large number of Type 022s was no longer necessary.
It won’t come as a surprise if Iran, Beijing’s longtime military ally, purchases the entire fleet because China explored selling off this class of warships when they were still very operable.