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China launches third Type 075 LHD for PLAN

The third Type 075 (Yushen)-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship to be constructed for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was launched at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai on 29 January and manoeuvred out of the dry dock to a riverside berth where it will complete fitting-out and setting-to-work.

The Type 075 class is slightly smaller than the US Navy’s Wasp class and is estimated to displace around 35,000 tonnes. The flight deck is over 225 m long and 36 m wide and marked with six numbered landing spots on the port side, with a seventh spot behind the island unit. The floodable well deck will enable air-cushion landing craft and amphibious armoured vehicles to be deployed from the ship during assault operations.

Final assembly of pre-fabricated modules of the first-of-class commenced in late 2018, and the ship, the intended name of which remains unknown, was launched in September 2019. Assembly work on the second Type 075 progressed in parallel with the first, and it was launched in April 2020. The recent launch means that the three Type 075 LHDs have entered the water in just 16 months.

The latest assault ship has joined the second LHD on the riverside berth, as well as the eighth Type 071 (Yuzhao)-class LPD. The latter is believed to have entered service in 2020, although this has not been officially announced, so the Type 071 may have returned to the shipyard for some remedial work. The second Type 075 returned to the shipyard following the first phase of its sea trials, which began in December, and is likely to commence the second phase shortly.

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