PLA Chinese Navy launches 3rd Type 075 amphibious assault ship

China launched on Friday, January 29, 2021 its third Type 075 amphibious assault ship, a kind of vessel often referred to as helicopter carrier with the ability to conduct amphibious landing missions. With the assistance from several tug boats, the amphibious assault ship was launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai. Yang Hui in Shanghai and Liu Xuanzun in Beijing report on Global Times.
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China's third Type 075 amphibious assault ship was launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai on January 29, 2021 (Picture souce: Global Times/Yang Hui)

China has now launched three of the large warships at an astonishing speed since the second half of 2019, with Chinese military experts saying the country has cleared technical difficulties in building such kinds of vessel. The first Type 075 was launched on September 25, 2019, and the second one on April 22, 2020. The Type 075 can carry air-cushioned landing crafts, main battle tanks and armored vehicles on its hangar deck.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times that the exact number of Type 075s to be built will be determined by the actual needs of the PLA Navy. China has urgent strategic and tactical needs in amphibious assault ship development.

Chinese and overseas media reported recently that the first Type 075 has been conducting sea trials in the South China Sea since late 2020 and could be close to commissioning. The second ship has already finished its first sea trial which started in December 2020.

Foreign media also speculated in mid-2020 that China is designing a newer amphibious assault ship dubbed the Type 076. Reports claimed it could feature electromagnetic catapults, fixed wing aircraft (including drones) and integrated electric propulsion systems.

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