China Launches 1st Type 075 LHD for PLAN

China’s first amphibious assault ship, a Landing Helicopter Dock known as Type 075, was launched in Shanghai today.

Xavier Vavasseur 25 Sep 2019

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy), the customer of the vessel, said in a statement that after a brief ceremony starting at 9:20 am at a CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard, waters began to be pumped into a dry dock in which the ship’s hull was built.

Participants at the ceremony – officials from the central and Shanghai governments, officers from the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department and the PLA Navy, executives of the State-owned conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp as well as the vessel’s designers and construction workers – applauded as they watched the launch process, the statement said, without providing more details about the event.

China Launched its 1st Type 075 LHD this morning.

According to the PLAN, the new class of ship was domestically developed and constructed. It will have a strong capability to carry out amphibious combat and other tasks.

The Chinese navy added that in the next phase, engineers will start outfitting and fine-tuning the vessel’s equipment and then conduct mooring tests and sea trials.

Type 075 compared to similar vessels

The Chinese Navy officially started in 2011 development work on the Type 075, a helicopter carrier project displacing more than 30,000 tonnes. Its aim is likely to increase the “vertical” amphibious assault capability with the very mountainous East Coast of Taiwan in mind.

As for its specifications, rumors speak of “36,000 tons of displacement”, “capacity of 28 helicopters”, “diesel engine with the 9,000 kW 16PC2-6B” and “four CIWS including two HQ-10 and two H/PJ-11”.

While the Type 075 appears to slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy’s LHA, it is larger compared to French or Spanish/Australian LHD equivalents. It is actually pretty close in size to Italy’s future Trieste LHD.

The first Type 075 was constructed in record time (this has become the norm nowadays, for Chinese shipbuilding: extremely fast construction pace that no one can match). A second vessel of the class is already under construction while a larger version is rumored to be planned.

A second Type 075 vessel is already under construction (on the right)

When fully operational, the new Type 075 LHD will bolster the PLAN’s amphibious capabilities, which today rely on the Type 071 LPD design.

Source: Naval News “China Launches 1st Type 075 LHD for PLAN”

Note: This is Naval News’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

DSA 2018: Chinese LHD design contends for RMN’s MRSS programme

China’s CSOC displayed a model of an LHD with amphibious capabilities at DSA 2018. The company is offering the design to Malaysia to meet the RMN’s MRSS requirement. Source: Richard D Fisher Jr

Richard D Fisher Jr, Kuala Lumpur – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly 17 April 2018

A Chinese landing helicopter dock (LHD) with amphibious capabilities is one of the designs being considered for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN’s) multirole support ship (MRSS) programme, officials told Jane’s at the 16-19 Defence Services Asia 2018 (DSA 2018) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

The design being considered appears to be a smaller version of the 23,000-tonne LHD design unveiled by the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at the 2012 Defense and Security exhibition in Bangkok. RMN officials said that the Chinese design could carry up to eight helicopters and would be equipped with a well-deck for deploying amphibious vehicles.

While officials at DSA 2018 stressed that the RMN has yet to select a final design, the experiences made with China’s different production and ship standards as part of the ongoing Sino-Malaysian co-operation to build littoral mission ships (LMSs) for the RMN has led to concerns about the desirability of China’s MRSS proposal. However, the officials also stressed that Beijing’s proposal could remain competitive if it becomes the low-cost option.

Malaysian officials indicated they expect the 15,000-tonne three-ship MRSS programme to be funded in 2018, with a final design expected to be selected in 2019.

The MRSS is part of the RMN’s ’15-to-5’ fleet transformation programme, which seeks to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency in logistics management, while bolstering vessel numbers.

Source: Jane’s 360 “DSA 2018: Chinese LHD design contends for RMN’s MRSS programme”

Note: This is Jane’s 360’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

China’s New Amphibious Assault Ship: A Big Waste of Time?

USS America, a San Antonio-class (LPD-17) vessel, off Pascagoula in 2013

Dave Majumdar
March 31, 2017

China is set to complete its first large-deck amphibious assault ship—the Type 075—by 2020. The vessel, which is currently under construction at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyards in Shanghai, is roughly the same size as one of the U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class (LHD-1) amphibious assault ships.

“Construction of the Type 075 ships will take two more years,” a Chinese military source told the South China Morning Post. “The first vessel may be launched as early as 2019 and put into full service in 2020.”

It is not clear how many Type 075 assault ships China intends to build, but the roughly 40,000-ton vessels will afford the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) significant power projection capabilities. The vessels will be able to carry 30 helicopters onboard—six of which would be able to takeoff simultaneously from the flight deck. The massive 820-foot long—with a 98.4-foot beam—vessels will also feature a well-deck for launching ship-to-shore connectors and amphibious vehicles of various types.

One feature the new Chinese vessels lack compared to their American counterparts is that the Type 075 does not have the ability to support fixed-wing air operations. China does not have a short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft similar to the Boeing AV-8B Harrier II or Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. However, there were unconfirmed reports in 2011 that China had started to development work on such an aircraft, as I have previously reported in Defense News.

The Type 075-class vessels would complement China’s existing fleet of four Type 071 amphibious transport dock ships, which are similar in concept to the U.S. Navy’s San Antonio-class (LPD-17) vessels. The vessels can haul an entire battalion of PLAN marines, their equipment and ship-to-shore connectors—including air-cushioned landing craft, 20 armored vehicles and four helicopters. Two more Type 071s are currently under construction.

Together, the Type 075 and Type 071 would provide China with a formidable power projection and amphibious assault capability–second only to the United States Navy. That means that China would have the means to intimidate its neighbors such as Taiwan—which Beijing views as a renegade province—the Philippines and others especially after China builds more aircraft carriers.

But there are questions as to how operationally effective such vessels would be in such a threat environment. “China is not the only country with anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities and others can impose costs on its maritime forces that might make amphibious assault ships an expensive and risky proposition,” said Alex Alden, a defense analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses and senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest—the think tank that publishes this magazine. “Maybe they too should start thinking about distributed lethality.”

Nonetheless, is Beijing is proceeding with building a carrier fleet. China’s second aircraft carrier—still based on the Soviet-era Kuznetsov design—is well into its construction phase. Meanwhile, China has started construction on the Type 002 aircraft carrier—which is an apparently an indigenous design that dispenses with skijumps.

“My understanding based upon steam catapult testing is that the third carrier will be an attempt at a full CATOBAR design with steam catapults and hydraulic arresting gear that will allow China to launch aircraft with heavier bomb loads and go longer ranges,” Jerry Hendrix, director of defense studies at the Center for a New American Security told The National Interest.

The vessel has been under construction at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard in Shanghai since March 2015 according to the South China Morning Post.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for the National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.

Source: National Interest “China’s New Amphibious Assault Ship: A Big Waste of Time?”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China Building Huge Landing Helicopter Dock for South China Sea War

Photo of comparison of the stern of the warship being built in Dalian with that of a US LHD

Photo of comparison of the stern of the warship being built in Dalian with that of a US LHD

There have been quite a lot of photos of a large warship being built in Dalian. Based on those photos there is the speculation that China has been building a homegrown aircraft carrier there. When China has confirmed that it is building such an aircraft carrier, media identify the one being built in Dalian as the aircraft carrier China is building. However, recent photos of the stern of the warship prove that warship will be a large landing helicopter dock (LHD) instead of an aircraft carrier.

Analysts believe that China urgently needs such an LHD for defense in the South China Sea while the location of the aircraft carrier China has been building is China’s top secret so that no information has been available yet.

Source: “Huge warship being built in Dalian is not an aircraft carrier but a 50,000-ton LHD for defense in the South China Sea” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)