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Aviation Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA/D)

The following table brackets a plausible range of assumptions, ranging from a program that starts soon and moves fast, with the first ship already building and entering service in 2020, with subsequent units following at annual intervals, versus a slower program that sees subsequent units joining at three year intervals. The relatively sudden appearance of the [admittedly small displacement] Jingdao Type 056 light frigates, and blazing construction pace of this class renders the "soon and fast" scenario as plausible as the "late and slow" program. By one account, China plans to have by 2049 - the Centenary of the founding of the PRC - completed construction of 10 big-deck aircraft carriers, and it may be assumed based on the US Navy precedent that the PLAN might aspire to a similar number of gators.

On 19 April 2018, Taiwans Zhongshi Electronic News said that the mainlands "Shanghai Shipyard" [presumably meaning Hudong Shipyard, where the Type 071 LPD is built] has officially started construction of a 40,000-ton 075 amphibious assault ship. According to Taiwan media, according to the latest satellite imagery of the Shanghai Shipyard, it can be seen that the shipyard had begun to lay the pier. The keel and contour of the Chinese 075 amphibious assault ship can be seen. The length of the pier can be seen from the satellite image. Far more than 200 meters, this is in line with the information of the Chinese 075 amphibious assault ship's 250 meters long revealed by military experts.

Reports in late 2019 that the second unit would launch in early 2020 [which happened 22 April 2020]. This came one day before the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, and military enthusiasts said the launch of the second Type 075 could serve as a birthday present for the PLA Navy.

The launch of the second unit suggested the possibility of a rather brisk construction pace, that within a decade or so could match the US Navy fleet of big-deck gators. By early 2020 the critical uncertainty as to the cadence of the building program was the timing of the third unit. The first pair of units were launched at an interval of only six months, some 18 to 24 months after being laid down.

ONI noted in February 2020 that "China builds large amphibious ships (LPD) in a relatively short time span, and is currently building three large amphibious assault ships (LHA), the first of which was launched in 2019." The fastest plausible building candence might encompass a pair of ships, laid down and launched at six month intervals, with a new pair emerging every two years. This would effectively add an additional unit to the PLAN inventory every year, allowing the Chinese to match the American force level of about 10 units by around the year 2030. A more sedate construction pace might achieve this goal by around the year 2050.

Ship List
# Name Yard Laid
Down
Launch Comm notes
Batch 1
31 Hainan Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
Apr 2018
Mar 2017?
27 Sep
2019
23 Apr
2021
902 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2018 22 Apr
2020
2022 2019 : Q1 2020 launch
903 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2020 29 Jan
2021
2023 2019: 3 batch 1
2020 : building [ONI]
Batch 2
904 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2021
2026
2023
2028
2025
2029
2019: 2 batch 2
905 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2022
2029
2024
2031
2026
2032
2019: 2 batch 2
Batch 3???
906 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2023
2032
2025
2034
2027
2035
907 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2024
2035
2026
2037
2028
2038
908 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2025
2038
2027
2040
2029
2041
909 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2026
2041
2028
2043
2030
2044
910 TBD Hudong
Zhonghua
Shipbuilding
2027
2044
2029
2046
2031
2047



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Page last modified: 01-05-2021 16:45:18 ZULU