A local ship spotter shared a picture on Weibo showing the vessel (with pennant 32) in “full dress”, a display of flags in celebration of important events (in this case, the commissioning ceremony) as well as what is likely the PLAN ensign at the stern. Guangxi (32) is the second ship of the class and was expected to join the PLAN by year-end.
First ship-in-class Hainan (pennant number 31)The first Type 075 LHD, Hainan (pennant number 31), was commissioned with the PLAN during a grand ceremony on 23 April 2021 at the naval base in Sanya (Hainan island) in presence of Chinese president Xi Jinping. The vessel was launched in September 2019 and started sea trials in August 2020 . Guangxi (32) was launched in April 2020 and started its sea trials in December 2020. The third Type 075 was launched in January this year and started sea trials in November. This represents an impressive rate of one LHD launched every 6 months by the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai. The same yard recently launched two frigates and a Type 071E LPD in the same day.
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, open data 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 be 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.