Pictures shared by local ship spotters on Sina Weibo (a Chinese social media platform) this morning show the construction dock where the second Type 075 was assembled being flooded. Other pictures show the vessel being towed by tug boats next to the second ship-in-class. This is where the shipyard will continue outfitting work over the next few months. The first-in-class Type 075 has been spotted at Sanya naval base since December 2020.
The Hudong Zhonghua shipyard also took the opportunity to launch the second Type 054 A/P Frigate for the Pakistan Navy.
The Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai already built the first two vessels in the class. The first Type 075 for the PLAN was launched in September 2019 and started sea trials in August 2020 while the second one was launched in April 2020 and started its sea trials in December 2020. This represents an impressive rate of one LHD launched every 6 months.
About China’s Type 075 LHD
The Chinese Navy officially started development work on the Type 075 in 2011. The project called for a helicopter carrier displacing more than 30,000 tonnes. Its aim is likely to increase the “vertical” amphibious assault capability with the very mountainous East Coast of Taiwan in mind.
As for its specifications, rumors speak of “36,000 tons of displacement”, “capacity of 28 helicopters”, “diesel engine with the 12,000 kW 16PC2-6B” and “four CIWS including two HQ-10 and two H/PJ-11”.
While the Type 075 appears to slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy’s LHA, it is larger compared to French or Spanish/Australian LHD equivalents. It is actually pretty close in size to Italy’s future Trieste LHD.
The first Type 075 was constructed in record time (this has become the norm nowadays, for Chinese shipbuilding: extremely fast construction pace that no one can match). A total of eight LHDs are said to be on order for the PLAN while a larger version is rumored to be planned (sometimes referred as Type 076).
When fully operational, the new Type 075 LHD will bolster the PLAN’s amphibious capabilities, which today rely on the Type 071 LPD design.