A local ship spotter shared a picture on Weibo showing the Type 075 vessel (with pennant 33) 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. Anhui (33) is the third ship of the class and was expected to join the PLAN by year-end.
First ship-in-class 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 . The second Type 075 Guangxi (32) was launched in April 2020, started its sea trials in December 2020 and was commissioned in December 2021.
Anhui (33) was launched in January 2021 and started sea trials in November 2021. This represents an impressive rate of one LHD launched every 6 months by the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai. The same yard also produces frigates and LPDs for export.
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). While there is currently no evidence of more hulls being built, the PLAN is said to have an expressed need for eight ships of this class. 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.