PLA Navy announces commissioning of 2nd Type 075 amphibious assault ship, 6th Type 055 large destroyer
Published: Apr 21, 2022 09:23 PM
China's third Type 075 amphibious assault ship was launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai on January 29, 2021. Many military enthusiasts gathered to witness the launch, and were amazed with the second and third Type 075s now both moored by the Huangpu River bank for further outfitting work. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

China's third Type 075 amphibious assault ship was launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai on January 29, 2021.  Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Shortly before its 73rd founding anniversary on Saturday, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy announced on Thursday for the first time the commissioning of its second Type 075 amphibious assault ship and its sixth Type 055 large destroyer, as they have already started training exercises.

As examples of the rapid development of the PLA Navy, both ships are expected to gain combat capability very quickly thanks to experiences accumulated by previous hulls of the same types, experts said.

Eyeing the demands for future amphibious and far sea combat, the amphibious assault ship Guangxi, which recently entered service with the PLA Navy, conducted a series of basic trainings including navigation organization, combat rescue and damage control in an undisclosed sea region, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.

This is the first time the Guangxi has made a public appearance after its commissioning. The CCTV report shows that it is a Type 075 amphibious assault ship with hull number 32, following China's first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Hainan, which has the hull number 31.

The key mission for the Guangxi's training is to form combat capability as soon as possible, Senior Captain Wang Yanguang, political commissar at an undisclosed vessel training center of the PLA Navy, said in the report.

Z-8 helicopters, Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles and Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft have started training together with the Guangxi, which is also dubbed a helicopter carrier, according to the CCTV.

As a new-type combat force in the transformation and development of the Navy, the Guangxi is tasked with exploring tactics for maritime multidimensional landing combat and enhancing core amphibious combat capabilities, the report quoted Captain Xu Ce, skipper of the Guangxi, as saying.

China has started to build and commission the Type 075 amphibious assault ships in numbers, as the ship is technically sophisticated and proven reliable, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The second Type 075 will gain combat capability very fast, as the first ship has gathered many successful experiences, Wei said.

With more Type 075s entering service, the PLA Navy will become more confident in far sea and amphibious operations, as the ships have significant advantages in amphibious landing missions, Wei said.

Such capabilities are potentially required in places like the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea, as well as in military operations other than war, like evacuations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, analysts said.

Another vessel training center of the PLA Navy recently organized multiple destroyers for a nighttime realistic combat training involving anti-ship, air defense, and ship-aircraft integrated search and rescue, the CCTV reported.

Among the warships participating in the drills, Type 055 large destroyer the Lhasa, the Anshan, and the Wuxi are newly commissioned main combat vessels, the report said.

With the report, the Anshan has made its public debut. The Global Times learned that the Anshan has the hull number 103, marking the sixth commissioned Type 055 large destroyer revealed to the public, after the Nanchang, the Lhasa, the Dalian, as well as the recently announced Wuxi and the Yan'an.

With more main battle vessels entering service, the PLA Navy's capabilities to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and development interests are growing as well, experts said, noting that China is aiming to build a blue-water navy capable of not only coastal defense but also far sea escort.