Chinese survey vessel visits South Africa


The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) hydrographic survey vessel Qian Weichang has paid a visit to Cape Town.

The Type 636A survey ship came alongside at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront on 12 July 2018 and was welcomed by the Chinese community residing in Cape Town, reports the South African Navy.

Officer Commanding Senior Captain, Dong Yan, and his delegation went for an official courtesy call with Flag Officer Fleet, Rear Admiral B.K. Mhlana at SA Navy Fleet Command Headquarters.

The Qian Weichang was commissioned in July 2016. It has a length of 129.28 metres, beam of 17 metres and displaces 5 800 tons. Crew is 134. Top speed is 17 knots and endurance 60 days, or 15 000 nautical miles at 15 knots.

The visit comes after the PLAN’s 28th Escort Task Group (ETG546) arrived in Naval Base Simon’s Town on 27 June for four-day goodwill visit to the South African Navy. Arriving four months after a brief stop by the 27th Escort Task Group in the Port of Cape Town, the 28th Task Group comprises Type 054A frigates Yancheng (Hull 546 acting as the flagship) and Weifang (Hull 550), together with the Type 903A replenishment ship Taihu (AOR-889).