China launches HTMS Chang Type 071E landing platform dock for Thailand

According to a picture published on the Twitter account of WarshipCam on December 24, 2021, China has launched the HTMS Chang, a Chinese-made Type 071E design (Yuzhao-class) landing platform dock (LPD) ship built for the Royal Thai Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Future Royal Thai Navy Type 071E amphibious warfare ship HTMS Chang was launched a couple of days ago in Dalian, China (Picture source Twitter account WarshipCam)

In September 2019, the Royal Thai Navy has signed a contract with China for the acquisition of a Type 071E design (Yuzhao-class) landing platform dock (LPD) ship. The agreement, inked with state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC,) involved the delivery of an amphibious transport vessel for the RTN (Royal Thai Navy).

The Type 071E is the export variant of the Yuzhao class (Type 071) already operating with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. The PLAN fields six such vessels, with two more currently under construction.

The Type 071 is an amphibious transport dock that is designed to embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. The ship features a vehicle deck, well-deck, landing deck, and a hangar. It can carry a combination of marines, vehicles, landing craft and helicopters. The ship may embark 600 to 800 troops. The stern helicopter deck offers two landing spots for supporting the operations of two transport helicopters.

The twin-door cantilever hangar can house up to four helicopters. The well deck houses up to four air-cushioned landing craft, which can be used to transfer vehicles or marines to the shore at high speed. The LCACs are launched by flooding of the docking area. The vehicle deck can house amphibious assault vehicles including amphibious IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and the amphibious light tank. The stern ramp, two side doors, and ramps allow rapid loading of the vehicles and equipment.

The Type 071 has a length of 210 m, a beam of 28 m, and a draft of 7 m, and a displacement of 25,000 tons. The ship can reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h). For its self-protection, the ship is armed with one AK-176 76 mm naval gun, four AK-630 30 mm CIWS (Close-In Weapon Station), and four 18-tube Type 726-4 decoy/chaff launchers.