South Sea Fleet

The Southern Theater Command Navy (Chinese: 南部战区海军), or the South Sea Fleet (SSF; Chinese: 南海舰队) is one of the three fleets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, operating in the South China Sea under the Southern Theater Command. It is headquartered in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province.

Southern Theater Command Navy
Naval Ensign of the People's Republic of China.svg
The People's Liberation Army Navy's jack and ensign
Country People's Republic of China
Allegiance Chinese Communist Party
Branch People's Liberation Army Navy
TypeNaval fleet
Part ofSouthern Theater Command
Garrison/HQYulin Naval Base, China
March"The People's Navy Moves Forward"
Vice Admiral Wang Hai

Initially, the fleet's strength consisted mostly of former Kuomintang ships and personnel, which either defected or were captured by the People's Liberation Army. One of three fleets of the People's Liberation Army Navy, the SSF's duties were to protect the city of Guangzhou and the Pearl River regions, and support the PLA in capturing islands that were still in the hands of the Kuomintang forces. The fleet's development has been slow, because most of China's shipbuilding industry is located on the northern or eastern coasts. In the 1970s the fleet underwent a major buildup, due to conflict in the Paracel Islands and other reefs in the South China Sea. In 1974, the SSF took the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam, which resulted in the sinking of one South Vietnamese frigate while damaging another. The latest incident was in 1988, when a Chinese naval task force engaged Vietnamese naval forces, sinking one Vietnamese warship and damaging another.

Most of the fleet's surface ships are located at Zhanjiang naval base, while all of the fleet's submarines are at Yulin Naval Base, on Hainan Island. The SSF has many other bases included Guangzhou, Haikou, Shantou, Mawei, and Beihai, while naval air force bases are at Lingshui, Haikou, Sanya, Zhanjiang, and Guiping. The fleet's area of operations is divided into six zones.


Functional DepartmentsEdit

The South Sea Fleet consists of the following departments:

  • General Staff Department - Fleet Headquarters Staff.
  • Political Work Department - Responsible for Communist Party oversight over the fleet.
  • Discipline Inspection Committee - Responsible for maintaining discipline in the fleet.
  • Equipment Department
  • Logistics Department

Naval DetachmentsEdit

South Sea Fleet further divides into the following ship detachments:

  • 2nd Destroyer Detachment (驱逐舰第二支队)
  • 9th Destroyer Detachment (驱逐舰第九支队)
  • 17th Frigate Detachment (护卫舰第十七支队)
  • 18th Frigate Detachment (护卫舰第十八支队)
  • 19th Frigate Detachment (护卫舰第十九支队)
  • 32nd Submarine Detachment (潜艇第三十二支队)
  • 52nd Submarine Detachment (潜艇第五十二支队)
  • 6th Landing Ship Detachment (登陆舰第六支队)
  • 3rd Combat Support Ship Detachment (作战支援舰第三支队)
  • Danger and Lifesaver Detachment (某防险救生支队)

Major Naval Bases in the FleetEdit

The fleet headquarters was, at first, at Guangzhou, but was later relocated to Zhanjiang.

Naval air force bases:

Ships in the fleetEdit

The aircraft carrier Shandong in the Dalian port
A Jiangkai-Class Frigate in action in Nan Hai

The flagship of the fleet is the Shandong (17), a Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier.

Aircraft carrier

Landing helicopter dock




  • 12 Jiangdao-class:
    • Meizhou (584)
    • Baise (585)
    • Jieyang (587)
    • Qingyuan (589)
    • Luzhou (592)
    • Zhuzhou (594)
    • Chaozhou (595)
    • Suqian (504)
    • Jingmen (506)
    • Tongren (507)
    • Qujing (508)
    • Liupanshui (514)

Diesel-Electric submarines:

Landing ships:

Replenishment ships:

Auxiliary ships:

  • 6 Qiongsha-class troop transport ships:
    • NY830
    • NY831
    • NY832
    • NY833
    • NY834
    • NY835
  • 1 hospital ship

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit