Author Topic: Sansha 2 - Supply ship  (Read 1487 times)


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Sansha 2 - Supply ship
« on: August 28, 2019, 11:51:07 PM »
China’s New 8,000-Ton South China Sea Supply Ship
It might not make headlines like missile tests, but the Sansha 2 is a major boost for China’s capabilities.

By Zachary Haver
August 22, 2019
On August 21, China’s newest South China Sea supply ship completed its maiden voyage to the Paracel Islands. Christened the Sansha 2 on July 12, the 8,000-ton ship was handed over to the Sansha City government on July 31 at the Wenchang Qinglan Port in Hainan province. Guangzhou Shipyard International, which built the ship, claims the Sansha 2 will “play an important role in guarding the motherland’s southern gate,” a reference to Sansha City’s mission of defending national sovereignty and protecting China’s maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.

The Chinese government established Sansha as a prefecture-level city in July 2012 to administer the entirety of its claims in the contested South China Sea. Headquartered on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, Sansha City has progressively bulked up its logistics capabilities.

Initially, the city commissioned the 7,800-ton Sansha 1 supply ship. CSIC Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, won the contract in December 2012 and started construction in 2013. The Sansha 1 conducted its maiden voyage from Hainan to Woody Island in January 2015. According to reports, the Sansha 1 was designed to travel at 19 knots, endure voyages of up to 6,000 nautical miles, and carry around 450 passengers. By January 2019, the Sansha 1 had allegedly sailed over 80,000 nautical miles across 203 voyages, carrying 110,000 people, 9,000 vehicles, 50,000 tons of fresh water, and 90,000 tons of cargo.

As one of Sansha City’s vital lifelines to the outside world, the Sansha 1 has helped transform Woody Island into a hub of civilian, administrative, and law enforcement activity in the South China Sea. Once a remote outpost, Woody Island now hosts a growing population, a school, numerous banks and shops, new port infrastructure, and a maritime militia.

By early 2016, however, the Sansha City leadership was already exploring the idea of building another supply ship, the Sansha 2. Construction of this new ship began in December 2017. Compared to the reported 120-meter length and 20-meter width of the Sansha 1, which displaces 7,800 tons, the Sansha 2 displaces 8,000 tons and roughly measures up to 128 meters long and 20.4 meters wide.

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