People`s Republic of China
commissioned 2008, year that model represents 2008,
The Houbei-class is the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's newest class of missileboat or fast attack craft (FAC).
It is also known as the Type-022 class. The design as a catamaran, according to the belive of many experts, is based on a concept of the Australian company AMD Marine Consulting. Until 2000, AMD had civil catamarans built at a Chinese partner's shipyard at Guangzhou.
The Houbei class is thought to use stealth technology, therefore the radar effectice surface should be significantly smaller than its
predecessor's. The construction is based on prefabricated aluminum components, which are welded using the most advanced assembling technologies, also allowing serial production. The boats are also highly automated, so that they require a crew of only 12.
Originally only four boats of this calss were built, so that it was belived to be a test series. Shortly after, however, a number of other
shipyards changed their program to build Type 022s. Currently the calss is estimated to consist of approximatelly 40 deployed boats.
Their armament consist of anti-ship missiles started from two launcher boxes at the stern. Experts also assume that they carry up to 8
C-802 SSM or an even larger number of unguided artillerie land attack missiles, like the WS-1. In addition the class is armed with a fully
automated 30 mm-Gatling-gun of Chinese fabrication as well as up to 8 decoy launchers (ECM) to their defense.
All in all, the Houbei-class does not fit into one of the conventional operational profiles. Difficulties in disbarking of boardingteams and the lack of helicopter landing possibilities significantly reduce their range of use. However, the heavy missile armament, her high speed, and her supposedly most modern communicational devices make the Houbei class highly suitable for fast attacks on sea and possibly also landbased targets, according to expert opinion.