Ship boat

Chinese amphibious assault ship held live-fire drills in South China Sea — Radio Free Asia

China’s largest 075-class amphibious assault ship Hainan has conducted combat training and live-fire drills in the South China Sea, Chinese media reported.

The exercise took place on April 22, but news about it only appeared this week on an online site. Chinese military network. Hainan is the second largest ship type in the Chinese Navy, after its two aircraft carriers.

The latest photos show People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) personnel conducting coordinated training, supply maneuvers and ammunition firing at an unspecified location in the South China Sea.

Helicopters were seen rehearsing take-off and landing on the ship’s dock.

The exercises aimed to “consolidate the basic skills of officers and soldiers, optimize the process of deploying and commanding ships, and effectively improve the overall combat capability”.

The Hainan, named after the Chinese island in the South China Sea, is China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, commissioned only a year ago.

It was built at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai and listed under the Southern Theater Command, responsible for the South China Sea.

It has a total displacement of 40,000 tons. The layout of the Hainan Bridge is similar to that of China’s Liaoning and Shandong aircraft carriers.

As tall as a 15-story building, it can carry a number of helicopters, amphibious hovercraft, tanks and armored vehicles. The ship is equipped with weapon systems, including missiles and ship guns, but its main task is to transport helicopters and amphibious vehicles to conduct amphibious operations.

Type 075 ships

On the eve of the Hainan exercise, April 21, the PLAN also announced the commissioning of its second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Guangxi.

The Chinese Navy did not officially begin development work on the Type 075 until 2011, but has already launched three ships, two of which are fully operational and the third is undergoing sea trials. A total of eight ships would be on order for the PLAN, reported the Naval News Portal.

Chinese state media said the Type 075 “will play a vital role in possible operations on the island of Taiwan, as well as islands and reefs in the South China Sea.”

Experts said the commissioning of the three ships will put China second in terms of global amphibious capabilities, just behind the United States.

A US Department of Defense report published last November indicated that China has the largest maritime force in the world with 355 ships. This number is expected to increase to 420 vessels over the next four years and to 460 by 2030.

The state media report on the live-fire exercise with Hainan appeared a few days later. a Chinese Navy flotilla led by Liaoning aircraft carrier was spotted sailing from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese and Taiwanese military said they were monitoring the flotilla.