The fresh force in China’s naval arsenal is an amphibious warship
The PLA Navy has one aircraft carrier as of now but the second domestically built one is currently undergoing trials.Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 18:42 IST
China has launched its first amphibious assault ship capable of carrying helicopters. Experts described it as a new era for the rapidly evolving fighting capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
It was launched at PLA Navy’s military dockyard in Shanghai, days ahead of the October 1 military parade to be held in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Reports said the new warship has an estimated displacement of 40,000 tonnes and a length of 250 metres.
Analysts told state media that this new type of warship – called the Type 075 – is a “vital tool if the Chinese mainland ever had to reunify the island of Taiwan by force”.
Taiwan is a self-government island-country to the south of the Chinese mainland, which Beijing considers a breakaway region.
“With a strong capacity in amphibious operations and performing a variety of tasks, the ship is independently developed by China. The ship will next undergo equipment debugging, mooring and navigational trials as planned,” the official news agency, Xinhua reported.
“The Type 075 will become an indispensable and fresh force in China’s modern naval warfare, especially for landing missions,” an unnamed military expert told the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times.
“It is the second complex warship built by China, after its aircraft carrier. The immense design, construction, and cost allow only a few countries, including France and Japan, to develop such a warship,” the expert added.
Many analysts see the Type 075 as a vital tool if the Chinese mainland ever had to reunify the island of Taiwan by force.
“If Taiwan secessionists cross the red line, the Type 075 could serve as a stern warning to them and foreign opposition forces,” an expert added.
President Xi Jinping’s sweeping plans to overhaul the PLA includes the rapid modernisation of the navy.
The PLA Navy has one aircraft carrier as of now but the second domestically built one is currently undergoing trials. Last November, official news agency Xinhua said China had launched work on the third carrier.
And, in April, state television showed pictures of the new destroyer Nanchang – part of a new fleet of the same—at the international fleet review held in Qingdao to celebrate the 70th year of the PLA Navy.