Author Topic: The Future of China's Amphibious Assault Fleet  (Read 1074 times)

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5661
    • View Profile
The Future of China's Amphibious Assault Fleet
« on: June 14, 2019, 11:40:33 PM »
https://www.janes.com/article/89152/china-increases-construction-rate-of-amphibious-assault-ships

Quote
China increases construction rate of amphibious assault ships
10 June 2019

As previously reported by Jane's, another hull is being constructed in the same dock as the LPDs, and it seems certain that this will be the PLAN's first Type 075 helicopter assault ship. Progress on this ship has also been rapid, as assembly must have commenced after the dock was drained following the launch of the seventh Type 071 in December 2018 and a large part of the Type 075 was sufficiently complete to be watertight and float when the dock was flooded again for the most recent LPD launch.

Although assembly of the Type 075 may take longer than the repeat builds of the Type 071, given that it is both larger and a new design, it looks likely that it will be launched before the end of 2019.

The most recent satellite imagery shows that the hull of the Type 075 in its current state has a beam of about 32 m. As the bow and stern sections have yet to be added, its length cannot yet be established but it seems likely that the displacement will be about 35,000-40,000 tonnes.

See also: Type 071 Yuzhao class Landing Platform Dock (LPD)

« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 06:59:50 AM by Ayoshi »

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5661
    • View Profile
Re: The Future of China's Amphibious Assault Fleet
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 07:06:35 AM »
See also:
* Chinese LHD (Type 075 project)
* Yuyi class LCAC

=====

Quote
The Future of China's Amphibious Assault Fleet | The Diplomat - July 17, 2019

It has been known for many years that 075s would be constructed at Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, where the PLAN’s 071 landing platform dock (LPD) ships were built. However until the last year or so there was no clear confidence as to when the first 075 could be expected to be observed, or how many may be built. In the last few months a number of very informative new pictures and rumors have emerged, allowing us to create a more detailed timeline for the near term.

< snipped >

075 LHD

Currently it is thought that an initial batch of three 075 LHDs have been ordered, all to be constructed at Hudong Zhonghua. The first ship’s modules began assembly in the main large drydock in early 2019 alongside the eight 071 LPDs in the same drydock. Numerous good quality aerial photos and even a satellite photo were taken around the time of and during the eight 071 LPDs’ launch on June 6, 2019. These photos depicted both the eight 071s and the first 075 residing alongside each other in the same drydock. During the eight 071s’ launch, the full drydock was flooded and the first 075 was watertight despite its hull being incomplete, allowing the eight 071s to be floated out into the Huangpu River. Subsequent photos taken after the launch of the eight 071s showed that additional hull modules have since been assembled to the ship, including the first module for the hangar and overlying flight deck.

< snipped >

Given the pace of work Hudong Zhonghua has demonstrated with the first 075 as well as their past work with 071s, it is very plausible that all three 075s ordered as part of the rumored first batch could be launched by 2021. A speculative timeline from this author suggests that the first 075 could be launched in late 2019/early 2020 (with the 2nd 075 partway complete by this time), after which assembly of the third 075 will occur at the position within the drydock formerly occupied by the first 075. The second 075 could be launched by late 2020 (similarly with the third 075 partway complete by this time), and finally the third 075 would be launched in mid to late 2021.

< snipped >

071 LPD

The 071 LPD is a well-known ship class at this point. Six ships are currently in service, with another two ships in sea trials and fitting out respectively. The seventh and eighth ships are likely to be commissioned by late 2019 and late 2020 respectively. It is not currently known if any additional 071 LPDs will be ordered in the next few years, considering Hudong Zhonghua will likely be quite busy constructing 075s in this time.

There is not much to write about the 071 class apart from its physical characteristics, some of which have been reported in an inaccurate manner. The ship has a full displacement of up to 25,000 tons, with a large hangar capable of accommodating four Z-8 sized 13-ton helicopters. A single 071 can carry up to 20 armored vehicles in its dedicated vehicle bay, and four Type 726A LCACs can be carried in its large well deck. However, multiple pictures have also shown that 071s can carry a large number of amphibious armored vehicles of the ZBD05/ZTD05 family in its well deck to deploy directly from the ship to beach, in rows made up of four vehicles each.

< snipped >

For a Taiwan contingency, the total (well deck plus vehicle bay) vehicle capacity is likely of greater interest than the “vehicle bay only” capacity, as the latter count would assume the well deck was used for other roles such as to operate LCACs. However, the initial waves of an amphibious assault would likely rely on deploying large numbers of amphibious armored fighting vehicles like ZBD05/ZTD05 to contest a beach, rather than relying on much smaller numbers of soft skinned and otherwise defenseless LCACs transporting handfuls of armored vehicles onto a beach where enemies may reside.

LCACs

The PLAN operates a number of LCAC types. The most well known is probably the Zubr imported from Ukraine and Russia, boasting a full displacement of about 550 tons and capable of accommodating up to 140 tons in an internal bay. However, the size of the vessel does not allow it to be carried in LPDs or LHDs, and for the PLAN it would only be appropriate for operations within a few hundred nautical miles of China’s coast (including Taiwan). At present five vessels have been identified, but the pace of delivery and subsequent construction has been relatively slow, and it’s unknown how high the demand for Zubr LCACs will be.

Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs)

The PLAN operates up to 32 LSTs. These are divided between the Type 072, 072II, 072III, and 072A, respectively three, four, 10, and 15 strong per class. The 072 and 07II displace slightly over 4,000 tons while the 072III and 072A displace close to 5,000 tons. For the purposes of summary, each ship can carry up to 10 tanks each in terms of displacement. All LSTs have a bow door and a rear well deck-style ramp for deployment of vehicles in the bow and aft directions via the cargo hold running through the full length of the ship.

About 10 smaller Type 073A 2,000 ton LST style ships are also in service, and about a half dozen similarly sized, older 073 ships of a similar configuration. Their cargo capacity is correspondingly smaller compared to the 072 family of LSTs.

An 800 ton class landing ship — the 074 and 074A class — also exists, numbering about 12 and 10 respectively.

PLAA landing craft and STUFT

One major sealift capability often overlooked in assessments of PLA amphibious assault sealift strength is the fleet of landing craft operated by the PLA Army/Ground Force (PLAA/PLAGF). These craft are not small, and can displace between 500 and 800 tons, featuring enclosed deckhouses, with enclosed or semi-enclosed cargo holds, and are operated by the PLAA to support their amphibious units. They regularly participate in exercises, carrying armored fighting vehicles, logistics vehicles, and troops.

For example, the Type 271 displaces 500 tons, while the bigger Type 271 III displaces 800 tons, with the latter capable of carrying three medium main battle tanks with a range of 1,000 nautical miles. Clear estimates of fleet size are difficult to ascertain, but as many as 80 ships of the Type 271/III LCT family may be in service today. A new design of ship similar to this configuration with higher speed was observed in 2015, suggesting the PLAA will continue maintaining a fleet of these ships for their own naval transport purposes

< snipped >

Summary

The PLAN amphibious assault fleet is likely to enjoy further expansion between now and the mid 2020s. Key projects to watch include the 075 LHD family, whether the 071 LPD family will be further expanded or not, and whether the PLAA landing ship fleet will be further sustained and recapitalized.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/the-future-of-chinas-amphibious-assault-fleet/

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5661
    • View Profile
Re: The Future of China's Amphibious Assault Fleet
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2020, 07:21:39 AM »
http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2020/04/pr-photos-of-day-ztd05-amphibious.html

PR Photos Of The Day: ZTD05 Amphibious Assault Gun on AAAV Chassis of a Heavy Amphibious Combat Assault Brigade


Photo from China Defense Blog