CHINA / MILITARY
Amphibious landing ships, stealth missile boats conduct exercises in South China Sea
Published: Nov 25, 2020 12:15 AM

The amphibious dock landing ships Wuzhishan (Hull 987), Kunlunshan (Hull 998) and Changbaishan (Hull 989) attached to a landing ship flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam alongside in waters of the South China Sea during a maritime training exercise on November 18, 2020. The exercise lasted four days, focusing on 10 subjects including comprehensive defense, Landing Craft Air Cushion's (LCAC) transfer, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operation, and live-fire operations. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Liu Jian)



The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently sent three Type 071 amphibious dock landing ships, and multiple Type 022 stealth missile boats to two exercises in the South China Sea, sending a strong message of deterrence to Taiwan secessionists and forces with ulterior motives, analysts said on Tuesday.

On November 18, three Type 071 amphibious dock landing ships attached to a landing ship flotilla with the navy under the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command. The three ships, the Wuzhishan, Kunlunshan and Changbaishan, conducted a four-day maritime training exercise, which focused on 10 subjects including comprehensive defense and the transfer of landing craft air cushions, live-fire operations and visit, board, search and seizure operations, eng.chinamil.com.cn, an English-language news website sponsored by the PLA, reported on Monday.

As many as three Type 071 amphibious dock landing ships operating together should be considered a very powerful landing force, and the exercise could be simulating a mission to land on a large island or a large group of islands and reefs, a Beijing-based military analyst told the Global Times on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

In a separate event also in the South China Sea, a flotilla of Type 022 stealth missile boats conducted a real combat scenario drill, with the catamarans training in comprehensive attack and defense, air defense and anti-terrorism, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

The Type 022 is fast, flexible, stealthy and powerful, which are characteristics making it suitable for coastal defense missions against hostile middle-sized and large ships and combat groups from outside of the defense zone, but it can also confront hostile aircraft and cover larger ships in high sea operations, CCTV said.

Military observers used to think the Type 022 was only suitable for coastal defense, but the PLA is seemingly exploring its potential to operate beyond that, the expert said.

The two exercises, one with huge warships and the other with small but fast boats, again demonstrated the PLA's capability in amphibious landing missions and in its coastal waters, analysts said, noting that they should serve as a strong deterrent to Taiwan secessionists and forces with ulterior motives in the South China Sea.


blog comments powered by Disqus