China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has conducted replenishment at sea (RAS) trials using commercial ships, according to a 16 November report in the Global Times newspaper. It described this as “a new approach to facilitate warship supplies in distant waters”.
According to the report, the trials tested a modular rig designed by the PLAN’s Naval Research Institute that can be temporarily installed on the deck of a commercial vessel to enable the transfer of solid stores. The rig has an electrically operated winch to maintain the correct tension in the jackstay line as the distance between the two ships fluctuates while they sail parallel courses during the transfer.
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