CMSI China Maritime Reports


Devin Thorne



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Since 2017, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned a new class of ocean surveillance vessel into its order of battle: the Type 927. Similar in design and function to the U.S. Navy’s Victorious and Impeccable class T-AGOS ships, the Type 927 was introduced to help remedy the PLAN’s longstanding weakness in anti-submarine warfare. The PLAN has likely built six Type 927 ships to date, most based for easy access to the South China Sea. In peacetime, these ships use their towed array sonar to collect acoustic data on foreign submarines and track their movements within and beyond the first island chain. In wartime, Type 927 vessels could contribute to PLAN anti-submarine warfare operations in support of a range of different maritime campaigns. However, their lack of self-defense capabilities would make them extremely vulnerable to attack.

Publication Date

March 2024


China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S Naval War College


Newport, Rhode Island


China, PRC, China Maritime Studies Institute, CMSI, People’s Liberation Army, PLAN, cargo deck ships, RO-RO ships, civil maritime support

China Maritime Report No. 36: China's T-AGOS: The Dongjian Class Ocean Surveillance Ship