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Yuting Class
Type 72 II / Type 72-III

Generally similar to the YuKan class in bow and bridge structures, the YuTing class has a new large helicopter deck for operating 2 medium helicopters to augment amphibious lift capabilities. It has the capacity to hold 250 troops, 10 tanks, and 4 LCVPs, and is armed with 6 37mm/63 guns firing 180rds/min to a range of 8.5 km.

"As the PLA moved from a light infantry force to a mechanized one, they can begin to take full advantage of what LSTs can offer. PLA LSTs can debark both Amphibious Light Tanks (ALT) and Amphibious Armored Personal Carriers (AAPC) out of both the stern and the bow gates a mile off shore instead of disembarking them right at the beach. This allows the larger vessels to remain at some distance from enemy fire."

Intended to replace World War II-built ex-US Navy tank landing ships, by early 2001 the construction program had completed a total of seven ships, with at least three more expected to follow shortly.

China's naval force has an insufficient number of large-scale and advanced landing ships and lacks such indispensable ship varieties as amphibious assault ships and dock landing ships. China's current amphibious landing capability is largely restricted to the several Yuting and Yukan-class landing ships. The PLAN's amphibious fleet provides sealift sufficient to transport approximately one infantry division. The PLAN also has hundreds of smaller landing craft, barges, and troop transports, all of which could be used together with fishing boats, trawlers, and civilian merchant ships to augment the naval amphibious fleet. Shortcomings in long-range lift, logistics, and air support, however, hinders China's ability to project amphibious forces.

Type 72-III / Type

In mid 2002, pictures began to surface on webboards indicating that China was building additional landing ships, based on the Yuting design. These ships, which are larger than the Type 72-II and features a re-designed superstructure. Pictures posted on the China Defence Forum indicate that seven ships of the class are in varying degrees of construction, or have launched. Jane's Fighting Ships 2003-04 does not indicate that there is a difference in the new ships compared to the older ones, and the Department of Defense has not mentioned the ships in the 2002 or 2003 report on China's military capabilities. Chinese Defence Today has assigned these ships as being the Type 72-III.

These LSTs are generally similar to Type 072-II Yuting Class in service with the PLAN since the early 1990s. It is slightly larger, and with a clear airtight superstructure the helicopter facility seems to be improved, but there is still no hangar. The armament seems to be the standard Type 63F 37mm AA gun installed on the Type 72-II class.

During 2003 three new medium class-landing ships were completed at Shanghai. Hull numbers 3315, 3316 and 3232 are triple-bow formatted landing ships with an estimated capability of beaching a load of over 250 tons each.

As chronicled by photographs on the internet, between 2002 and 2004 Beijing has begun construction of at least seven of these new landing ship/tanks (LST). By early 2005 at least 4 Type 072-III LSTs had been completed, increasing their inventory of LSTs from 16 to 20.

As of February 2005 a total of four tank landing ships were under construction.

072B

In 2013, in order to replace the early retirement type 072 landing ship early models, the Wuchang began Shipyard to build the 072B, with part of the shipboard equipment updated and upgraded. The ship's 76F double 37mm gun was replaced by the latest H / PJ-17 single tube 30mm gun. New 072B full load displacement of 5008 tons [light] was slightly larger than the original 072A type. The maximum speed increased to 20 knots. The bridge from open to closed, with good stealth. At the same time through the deck design more convenient amphibious equipment put. A helicopter takeoff and landing platform.

By 2016 the six were deployed in the East China Sea fleet.

"China Times" website on 14 January 2017 issued a report entitled "China's research and development of new stealth tank landing ship". The report said that China had independently developed a new type of Tank landing craft for amphibious warfare with a stealth function. It can carry the landing forces and equipment, and to carry out other Non - combat military operations. The ship is equipped with artillery and helicopter apron. Its main task is to carry landing troops, supplies and wounded, and carry out other non-combat military operations.

Reportedly this new ship has a good ability to conceal, and its design more convenient amphibious landing equipment, rapid loading and adoption. "Tianmu Mountain Ship" length 119.5 meters, 16.4 meters wide, the maximum displacement of 5008 tons, the maximum speed of 20 knots, the bridge from open to closed, and through the deck design more convenient amphibious landing equipment, rapid loading and adoption, and The tail has a flight deck to meet the helicopter landing.

Military expert Du Wenlong in an interview with the People's Network, said, "Tianmu Mountain ship" can carry multiple helicopters, landing operations can be achieved three-dimensional delivery, can significantly improve the landing and landing operations. The service of this type of ship will expand the scale of amphibious combat in China, will also promote our military amphibious combat from the plane landing to the direction of three-dimensional landing".

"Tianmu Mountain ship" through the deck and closed bridge design are the two bright spots. Du Wenlong pointed out that the design of the through deck so that landing ships can park more helicopters. If the implementation of amphibious operations, can carry multiple helicopters, while the coast, the island reef equipment and personnel delivery, greatly improve the amphibious combat transport capacity and air support capabilities. Closed bridge design allows the landing ship to load more electronic equipment to meet the satellite communications, remote communications, land communications, formation communications and other needs. At the same time, the closure of the bridge can also improve the combatants, command personnel in the comfort of the ship to enhance the morale of the combatants, because the remote maneuver in the sea is very suffering, will affect the morale of officers and men.

According to Du Wenlong introduction, the tank landing ship is to carry heavy equipment assault landing as the main task of the combat ships, carrying the main equipment is the main battle tanks, crawler amphibious fighting vehicles, such as 99-type 96 main battle tanks, 04 infantry fighting Car and so on. In the past, there were only small and medium-sized landing ships in China, mainly used for personnel transmission, which is a big gap with the goal of three-dimensional landing and remote maneuver. Today, "Tianmu Mountain Ship" will be landing from the water to achieve a three-dimensional landing.

Du Wenlong said, "Tianmu Mountain ship" within the larger space, load-bearing capacity, and can be equipped with helicopters, equivalent to the air defense capability and mobility of two kinds of equipment quickly together, can significantly improve the landing and landing operations, To achieve a short period of time in the landing area to build a large number of troops. The service of this type of ship will expand the scale of amphibious combat in China, will also promote the transformation of our amphibious combat mode, that is, from the plane landing to the direction of three-dimensional landing change.

"But between China's landing ship and the US military there is still a certain gap." Du Wenlong said that the United States now has no "tank landing ship" concept, but this was replaced by amphibious integrated transport landing ship. Both can transport amphibious equipment, can also transport a large number of personnel. The construction of amphibious landing craft in the United States is mainly based on the aircraft carrier's standard, such as the Hornet amphibious landing ship, which can carry F-35B fighter, large helicopter, and tilting rotorcraft and other military aircraft. Compared with the United States, China's landing ship's air combat capability is still relatively weak, still in the number to make up for the lack of quality stage.




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