The 052D features a new 130 mm H/PJ38 naval gun replacing the 052C's H/PJ87 100 mm gun, which is based on the French Creusot-Loire T100C gun. The new gun is based on the Russian AK-130 130 mm gun and is able to fire new long-range, precision-guided shells not previously available.
New universal 8 x 8 Vertical Launch System (VLS) on the 052D class, which can fire both cold and hot-launched missiles against air, sea, ground and submerged targets, replaces the cylindrical 8 x 6 cold-launched VLS on the 052C class. In addition, the new VLS cells can each fire 1 to 4 rounds or quad-packed rounds.
The H/PJ12 gun-based Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) at the stern atop the hangar on the 052C class has been deleted, presumably to be replaced by the missile-based HHQ-10 CIWS as found on the Type 056 class corvette.
If HHQ-10 is installed, 30 mm stabilized gun mounts such as those found on Type 056 class corvette will likely also be installed on port and starboard to defend against small and highly maneuverable attackers such as speedboats.
The 2 x 4 YJ-62 anti-ship missiles as found on the 052C class have been removed. Their role is now incorporated into the VLS of the 052D class, which can fire anti-ship missiles.
New radars are larger than before with the same overall layout for 360 degree coverage. The active phased array radars seem to require less elaborate cooling than before.
Propulsion remains Combined Diesel Or Gas (CODOG), but the Ukrainian DA80 / DN80 gas turbines have been replaced by domestic QC-280 turbines based on Ukrainian technology with higher output.
Hangar has been moved to the center with the removal of the H/PJ12 CIWS, which required significant deck penetration.
The boat / raft launching systems are now both fully enclosed and moved alongside the hangar as found on the Type 054A class frigate.