China to launch 2nd amphibious assault ship soon: reports

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/10 21:18:40

China held a launch ceremony for its first Type 075 amphibious assault ship in Shanghai on Wednesday. Photo:

China is reportedly set to launch its second Type 075 amphibious assault ship soon following the launch of the first one in September, leading analysts to say that China has grasped related shipbuilding technologies. The development of aircraft to be used on the ships is also progressing smoothly, they said. 

An amphibious assault ship is a type of warship which analysts believed will play a crucial role in reunifying the island of Taiwan by force, if it comes to that, and even more are needed, analysts noted.

The second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, being built in Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, is about to be launched, as its construction, including the hull and flight deck, is already complete, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on the national defense industry, reported on Monday, citing photos circulating on Chinese social media and foreign reports.

The ship is still in dark red due to the anti-corrosive priming paint and is not yet painted with the standard naval gray, the report said.

Comparing its current construction progress to the construction and launch process of the first Type 075, the report said the second Type 075 only has a few final adjustments to do and should be ready for launch soon.

This could potentially be the first known Chinese warship launch since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic broke out, military observers said.

It is only half a year since the first Type 075 was launched, which is faster than usual compared to China's tradition of developing and building warships, the Ordnance Industry Science Technology reported, noting that this means China has mastered the technology of building amphibious assault ships, as China has garnered experience that can be applied with the building of Type 071 amphibious landing docks and aircraft carriers.

Another reason for the Type 075s' fast production is that the aviation combat equipment to be used on them is seeing smooth progress, as the Navy already has the naval versions of Z-8 and Z-9 helicopters and mass production for the naval version of the Z-20 is also expected to start in a few years, the periodical said, noting that China may also develop tiltrotor aircraft, a type of larger helicopter, and short takeoff and vertical landing fighter jets in the future.

China has an urgent need for amphibious assault ships to prepare for military struggles, including achieving China's reunification, because the current Type 071 amphibious landing docks and other tank landing ships lack vertical delivery capability and are not enough to transport large forces in a short period, so the Type 075 could be the most important item to make up for this shortcoming, the report said.

More Type 075s are expected to be built and eventually to the same number as the Type 071, as the two types of amphibious ships can form powerful landing fleets that are much more powerful in safeguarding national unity and territorial integrity, the report predicted.

Global Times

Posted in: MILITARY

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