CHINA / MILITARY
Taiwan navy’s new amphibious vessel ‘no match to PLA counterpart, of minimal threat’
Published: Apr 14, 2021 06:04 PM
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 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 island of Taiwan launched its first 10,000 ton-class amphibious landing ship on Tuesday, a move Chinese mainland experts said on Wednesday will only add to the rising military tensions in the Taiwan Straits.

Named the Yu Shan, Taiwan's first domestically built 10,000 ton-class amphibious transport dock was launched in Kaohsiung on Tuesday, and it's expected to be delivered in 2022, Taipei-based Central News Agency reported.

Attending the launch ceremony, Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen claimed that the ship will enhance the defense capabilities of the island, the report said.

The ship's launch will not help to ease the ongoing tensions in the Taiwan Straits, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Five PLA aircraft, namely a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and four J-16 fighter jets, entered Taiwan's self-proclaimed air defense identification zone on Tuesday, the island's defense authorities said on Twitter.

Recently, a ship-borne helicopter regiment under the PLA Navy organized helicopters to launch live anti-ship missiles in an exercise in the East China Sea, enhancing the pilots' combat capabilities under complicated situations, navy.81.cn, the news website of the PLA Navy, reported on Tuesday.

The Taiwan navy's new ship will not be a significant threat to the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Because in a potential military conflict, it would be the PLA that use amphibious landing ships against Taiwan's military, and by comparison, Taiwan's ship is much inferior, Song said.

The PLA operates a number of Type 071s, a type of amphibious landing ship that displaces about twice as much as Taiwan navy's Yu Shan, according to openly available information.

Taiwan media reports boasted the Yu Shan, equipped with radar, air defense missiles and rapid-fire guns, as being capable of transporting armored vehicles, amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft and helicopters in amphibious combat missions.

US-based media outlet Defense News said on Tuesday that the Yu Shan could hold anti-ship missiles, which is unusual for an amphibious landing ship.

The Yu Shan will also be dispatched in transport missions in the South China Sea and other offshore islands, Taiwan media reported, citing the president of the ship's manufacturer.

While the Yu Shan is of minimal threat to the PLA, from another point of view, the Taiwan authorities should use it in safeguarding the common sovereignty interests of the Chinese nation against foreign threats, Song said.

Coincidentally, the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy also operates an amphibious ship named Yushan.
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