The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) third Type 075 amphibious assault was launched at the state-owned shipbuilder China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSSC’s) Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai on 29 January.
The completed hull was manoeuvred out of its dry dock to a pierside berth in the Huangpu River where it will undergo fitting out and further testing before being commissioned into service.
The new Type 075 LHD, which is also known by its NATO reporting name of Yushen-class, displaces an estimated 36,000 tonnes and measures approximately 236 m in length with a 36 m-wide flight deck.
The vessel is believed to be capable of supporting up to 30 helicopters, with six landing spots on its deck dedicated to helicopter launch and recover operations. It also features a floodable well deck that enables air-cushion landing craft and amphibious armoured vehicles to deploy directly from the ship during landing assault operations.
The lead ship was launched in September 2019, while the second was launched in April 2020. It is worth noting that all three Type 075 LHDs have entered the water within a timeframe of just 16 months.
The lead ship suffered an internal fire on 11 April during its fitout, although the extent of damage caused by the mishap is not known. It eventually resumed sea trials in the South China Sea, and appears to be close to its commissioning after it left the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard and arrived at the PLAN’s new naval base on Hainan Island. The second Type 075 returned to the shipyard following the first phase of its sea trials, which commenced in December, and is likely to undergo further testing.
CSSC is also constructing a new and more advanced facility on Changxing Island in Shanghai, with the first phase of work expected to be completed by 2023. The site of the new shipyard is adjacent to the Jiangnan shipyard, where the PLAN’s third aircraft carrier is being built.
by Jr Ng