China expands Marine Corps’ aerial assault capabilities following Type 075 ship launch

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/27 22:04:15

Amphibious armored vehicles attached to a brigade of the PLA Navy Marine Corps make their way to the beach-head during a maritime amphibious assault training in the west of south China's Guangdong Province on August 17, 2019. (Photo:


In addition to intensive training, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is boosting the aerial assault capabilities of its Marine Corps by systematically expanding it with combat-proven former Army units, a timely move to ready personnel in advance to maximize the power of the two recently launched Type 075 amphibious assault ships, analysts said on Monday.

The Valiant Assault Exemplary Company and the Nianzhuangwei Assault Exemplary Company are now parts of a Marine Corps aerial assault brigade, according to a story published by PLA Daily on April 13.

Both companies won glory during the War of Liberation (1946-49), and they used to be under the command of the Army, but now they have joined the Navy's Marine Corps, Zhengzhijian, a WeChat public account run by Beijing Youth Daily, reported on Friday.

This was a part of an effort to expand China's newly formed Marine Corps, Zhengzhijian said.

The PLA Daily report did not say when the shift took place.

China's second Type 075 amphibious assault ship was launched on Wednesday after the first one was launched in September 2019, and military experts said that aerial assault forces of the Marine Corps are expected to be the core combat forces that use amphibious assault ships.

Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie told the Global Times that amphibious assault ships mainly conduct vertical deployment and landing missions on islands and reefs like the island of Taiwan and those in the South China Sea. These warships with large flat flight decks can transport troops vertically via helicopters much faster than using only horizontal means, Li said.

China has a tradition in military development: "It is better to let trained personnel wait for new weapon development than to let weapons that have finished development wait for personnel training," and the development of the Marine Corps' aerial assault forces must go in tandem, if not faster, than the development of the Type 075 and the helicopters, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Monday.

Moving combat capable units into the Marine Corps could be an efficient way to expand its capabilities in a short time, analysts said.

China has been holding intensive training and exercises for the Marine Corps. The troops have not only trained in land and waters across China, but have also used warships and trained across the world, significantly boosting their combat capabilities in all terrain, all dimensions and all times, according to a separate PLA Daily report on Thursday.

Posted in: MILITARY

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