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Japanese gunboat Heien
IJN Ping Yuen Go(Hei Yen).jpg
IJN Heien
Career (China) Beiyang Navy Ensign
Name: Pingyuan
Builder: Foochow Arsenal, Mawei, China
Laid down: 1 January 1883
Launched: 1888
Completed: 1890
Fate: Captured by Japan, 1895
Career (Japan) Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Ping Yuen Go (1895-1900)
Heien (1900-1904)
Acquired: 27 July 1894
Fate: Mined off Pigeon Bay (Piegen Bay) west of Port Arthur, 18 September 1904
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,150 long tons (2,185 t)
Length: 60.96 m (200 ft) w/l
Beam: 12.19 m (40 ft)
Draft: 4.19 m (13 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft reciprocating triple expansion steam engine, 2,400 shp (1,790 kW)
2 boilers
350 tons coal
Speed: 10.5 knots (12.1 mph; 19.4 km/h)
Complement: 202
Armament: • 1 × 260 mm (10 in) gun
• 2 × 150 mm (6 in) guns
• 8 × machine guns
• 4 × 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes
Armor: • Belt: 203 mm (8 in)
• Deck: 50 mm (2 in)
• Turret: 127 mm (5 in)

Heien, originally known as 平遠 Pingyuan, built by the Mawei Navy Yard near Foochow (Fuzhou), was an ironclad Coastal battleship serving with the Imperial Chinese Beiyang Fleet and later the Imperial Japanese Navy. Previous transliterations of its Chinese name include Ping Yuen and Ping Yuan, also of its Japanese name Heiyen.

Service record

Beiyang Fleet

As part of the Beiyang Fleet, Pingyuan was at the Battle of the Yellow Sea/Yalu River during the First Sino-Japanese War. It was captured as a prize of war by the Japanese at the Battle of Weihaiwei.

Imperial Japanese Navy

After its capture in February 1895, by the Imperial Japanese Navy, Pingyuan was placed into active combat service as the Pingyuan-go on 16 March 1895 and served with the Japanese fleet through the remainder of the First Sino-Japanese War. On 21 March 1898, she was re-designated as a first-class gunboat and was officially renamed Heien in 1900 based on the Japanese language pronunciation of its original Chinese name.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Heien was assigned to the 3rd Squadron and was part of the blockading force against the Imperial Russian Navy at the Battle of Port Arthur. Heien was disabled by a naval mine at Pigeon Bay (Piegen Bay), located to the west of Port Arthur on 18 September 1904 and foundered in heavy weather later that day. It was struck from the navy list on 21 May 1905.


  • Wright, Richard N. J., The Chinese Steam Navy 1862-1945, Chatham Publishing, London, 2000, ISBN 1-86176-144-9
  • Corbett, Sir Julian. Maritime Operations In The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. (1994) Originally classified, and in two volumes, ISBN 1-55750-129-7
  • Chesneau, Roger and Eugene M. Kolesnik (editors), All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, Conway Maritime Press, 1979 reprinted 2002, ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 

External links

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