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LST - Landing Ship, Tank

LST Shan
LST Yukan
LST Yuting

The Tank Landing Ship [LST = Large Slow Target] is a kind of landing ship that was popular during World War II and rushed to the shore to release tanks under the fire of the enemy. From the perspective of modern warfare, it is a very backward type of ship. The US military has abandoned this kind of ship. Through the traditional landing operation method of flooding the beach for tanks and infantry to land, and switching to amphibious assault ships, the Chinese navy has also begun to transform to the US military's amphibious combat style, but it is still continuing to build this very backward tank landing ship.

During the Second World War, in order to launch amphibious landing operations, various landing ships with different functions were required. The United Kingdom proposed that the United States should be responsible for the design and construction of Landing Dock Ships (LSD), Landing Tank Ships (LST), and Landing Ships Medium (LSM). , Landing Ships (LCI), Landing Craft Tanks (LCT), Landing Machines (LCM) and other amphibious ships, which are then leased to the United Kingdom. Among them, the landing tanks play an important role in amphibious operations and are responsible for directly rushing to the beach to unload various types of ships. Vehicles and supplies, the design drawing was finalized in December 1941, the structure is simple, double hull, flat bottom, the bridge and engine room are located at the rear of the warship, the entire hull is a full-length vehicle deck. The maximum speed is 11 knots, the bow is a door that can be opened to both sides, and a built-in landing ramp.

On February 6, 1942, the United States officially approved the largest shipbuilding plan in history. A total of 1051 ships were built during 1942-1945. , the first-generation LST-1 type was originally planned to build more than 490 ships, but the second-generation improved design was completed. The US Navy canceled 100 first-generation orders, and the second-generation stopped producing only 50 ships, and began to build the third The 612 ships of the LST-542 generation, from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, landed in Africa and Italy, counterattacked Europe, and attacked Japan's island-hopping strategy. They attacked directly under the front-line firepower.

In 1946, the U.S. Congress agreed to provide 271 remaining U.S. Navy ships to China free of charge. Among them, the Navy, China Merchants Bureau, Minsheng Company, the Shipping Brigade of the General Administration of Rehabilitation and Relief of the Executive Yuan, Jiangnan Shipyard and other institutions successively received or purchased 30 ships. The remaining tank landing ships are used for military purposes, and some are used as merchant (cargo) ships for commercial transportation, and the tank landing ships, medium landing ships, infantry landing craft, and tank landing craft are respectively named as China, the United States, the United, the United, The first one that fell into the hands of the People's Liberation Army was the "Heyong" among the eight "He" tank landing craft. It was just handed over by the US military on January 20, 1947.

When the PLAN was founded, there was not a single domestic landing ship, only 17 tank landing ships and dozens of landing craft were captured. In the coastal island landing operations in the early 1950s, the PLA fully recognized the landing ships, so it began to produce small landing ships. The PLAN first imitated the Soviet-made T4-class landing craft, and then independently designed and produced hundreds of 067, 068, 069 and 271 landing craft, with a carrying capacity of several tons to more than 100 tons, becoming the transportation equipment of coastal border defense forces.

Since the 1960s, large and medium-sized landing ships have been developed. In 1966, the construction of the first Type 073 tank landing ship began. The ship has a displacement of 850 tons and can carry 3 main battle tanks or 6 light tanks. The first 073 tank landing ship exposed many defects in the trial voyage and did not invest in a lot of construction. It was only in the 1980s that the improved 0731II landing ship was built. The displacement increased to 1460 tons, which could carry 6 main battle tanks or 8 amphibious tanks. After the first 731II was built, the further improved 073A tank landing ship was also put into mass production. The 073A can carry a Type 724 air-cushion landing craft, equipped with a fully automatic M37mm double-barreled naval gun and 40 122mm rocket launchers, and the number of constructions reached double digits.

After the 1980s, the Chinese Navy also equipped two medium-sized landing ships, 074 and 079. The 079 landing ship with a displacement of 714 tons was developed in response to the requirements of Vietnam. It can carry 5 main battle tanks and has a maximum speed of 12 knots. The first ship was in July 1976. It was launched, and when it was nearly completed, the relationship between China and Vietnam changed and it was changed to self-use. The ship has good boarding and beach withdrawal performance, low cost, and output of dozens of ships. However, due to its flat-bottomed structure, low speed and poor wind and wave resistance, the Chinese Navy developed the Type 074 landing ship in the 1990s, with a displacement of 486 tons and a maximum speed of 18 knots. ton, responsible for landing operations in wartime, and transportation in peacetime, and then launched the 074A type, with a standard displacement of 650 tons, which can transport 3 main battle tanks or 6 amphibious tanks at a time, and can also be mixed according to combat needs.

Loading ammunition, fuel or Oil and water supply, different from other landing ships, the 074A type is a double hull structure. This design enhances the buoyancy of the bow. When landing and unloading, the landing bow door does not need to be opened when the beach is washed, but it is opened and folded in advance when approaching the shore. The springboard is very helpful for quick landing. However, the tonnage and speed of these medium-sized landing ships are too small, so they can no longer be the pioneers of landing. By the time the Marine Brigade was established in 1979, the American-made tank landing ships had always been the main amphibious ships of the Chinese Navy.

In 1975, the Chinese Navy proposed to develop a large-scale tank landing ship with a speed of more than 18 knots. The development borrowed some characteristics of the American "Newport" class tank landing ship. The first ship "Yuntaishan" started construction in Shanghai Zhonghua Shipyard in 1976. In 1978, the Type 072 tank landing ship with a displacement of 3,172 tons was delivered to the East China Sea Fleet. It could carry 1 medium tank company and 1 infantry company in the open sea at a time. After the completion of 3 Type 072 tank landing ships, construction started in the early 1990s. The Type 072II tank landing ship was built. Type 072II and Type 072 are roughly the same, except that 4 25mm guns were cancelled, and 1 double-mounted 57mm naval gun and 3 double-mounted 37mm naval guns were replaced, and the stern was changed. It is a helicopter take-off and landing deck, which can carry a Z-8 helicopter, but there is no hangar.

In the 21st century, the 072II type has been significantly improved into a 072A large-scale tank landing ship. The interior is equipped with a through-dock vehicle and carrier. The rear entry and exit, the stern opening is very convenient for small landing craft, amphibious tanks and air cushion landing craft to quickly enter and exit. The 072A produced in the early stage only had one 76F double-mounted 37mm naval gun, and the later 072A was equipped with a single-barrel 30 automatic naval gun. , The whole ship has a simple appearance, smooth lines, and a very modern aesthetic. The overall closed bridge also changed the messy style of the 072 ship.

The traditional landing combat style is one of the most risky combat methods in modern warfare. The landing site must be selected on a specific coast, relying on powerful firepower to carry out a frontal attack. The defender has a large number of anti-ship missiles and a strong beachhead defense system. Large-scale landings When the ship sails at sea, its speed is only 8~18 knots, which is slower than that of modern merchant ships. It is very vulnerable to various shore-to-ship missile attacks. Once lost, it will cause serious casualties. The landing fleet is 2~5 miles away from the shore. The sea area in the sea allows the marines to switch to landing craft to land. A large number of landing craft land in front of the enemy is the most difficult stage of the battle. As the landing craft approaches the shore, the enemy's various firepower will violently hit the landing ships. The landing stage not only Difficult to overcome mines and obstacles, more vulnerable to various fires on the shore and pay a high price, the slower the landing craft, the more serious the loss. From the perspective of historical battles, the maneuverability and landing speed of the landing craft even determine the success or failure of the landing campaign under today's war conditions.

From the tens of tons of small landing craft in the 1950s to today's 40,000-ton large amphibious assault ships, the Chinese Navy's amphibious landing combat equipment has been continuously improved. In view of the shortcomings and even disadvantages of traditional landing operations, amphibious landing operations have gradually become beyond visual range. Long-range attack, with the entry of the 071 dock landing ship, the 075 amphibious assault ship, and the air cushion landing craft, the Chinese navy is also moving in this direction. The 071 dock landing ship integrates a tank landing ship, an armed transport ship and an amphibious cargo ship. Loading and transporting hundreds of soldiers and dozens of armored vehicles, it can also carry 4 air-cushion landing craft for transporting main battle tanks ashore. The stern usually carries 2-4 Z-8 transport helicopters for vertical transportation. The carrying capacity and endurance are several times that of the 072-type tank landing ship, and it has 4 close-up weapons, which can be used from 30 to 40 nautical miles from the shore during wartime. Even farther away, air-cushion landing craft and helicopters are used to attack the weak link of the enemy's defense. It is not limited by hydrology, shore, and water obstacles. One 071 dock landing ship can transport a battalion-level assault force at a time, greatly shortening the landing force.

Through the Type 071 dock landing ship, the Chinese navy initially has the ability to land beyond the horizon, but the Type 071 dock landing ship does not have a direct access to the deck, and only two helicopters can take off and land at the same time on the flight deck. The scale of the vertical landing force is limited. Even if all the 071 dock landing ships are added together, only one battalion can be transported in the air, and there is no air support helicopter. To solve this problem, the 075 amphibious assault with a straight-through deck and a large hangar The ship appeared. The 075 amphibious assault ship can carry landing craft, armored vehicles and a large number of troops at the same time, but it mainly uses helicopters to implement vertical landing and provide air support.

The implementation of three-dimensional landing operations, although the number of China's dock landing ships and 075 amphibious assault ships has reached the second in the world, but has built dozens of 072 tank landing ships and is still the main large landing ship of the Chinese Navy. The landing ship cannot be loaded in a balanced manner and cannot be landed in various ways. Although the helicopter deck and dock are installed, the facilities on the ship are relatively simple, and the combat capabilities of the helicopter and air-cushion landing craft are obviously limited, but the production is still continuing.

China is the only country in the world that develops both tank landing ships and dock landing ships. Its naval equipment covers all types of amphibious ships. The war zone is divided into two categories. The first is the Taiwan Strait. This direction is a large-scale landing campaign on a theater scale. All amphibious ships are dispatched to fight a head-to-head landing battle. The second is the South China Sea. This direction is not large, only small-scale island landing battles. Compared with the Type 071 dock landing ship, the tank landing ship has a single purpose and requires beachheads. Higher, capable work, the 071-type dock landing ship does better, and the landing methods of the two landing ships are quite different, and mixed use will increase the difficulty of command, but everyone knows the location of the Chinese Navy's landing in the Taiwan Strait. The vulnerable air-cushion landing craft is obviously not suitable for frontal hard attack, if multiple 072 tank landing ships directly send the formed synthetic battalion to the coast, forcing the enemy to mobilize troops from other directions to counterattack, once the enemy There is a weak link in the military defense line. This is the opportunity for the Type 071 landing ship. To put it more vividly, the tank landing ship is a regular soldier, while the Type 071 landing ship is an extraordinary soldier.

Before the advent of the Type 071, the Type 072 tank landing ship deployed in the East China Sea Fleet was the only landing ship in the Chinese Navy that could transport a tank company. The success or failure of the landing was decided in the first 24 hours for the follow-up troops. The planned landing operation was a high-intensity battle, requiring the tank landing ship to carry 20 tank armored vehicles or an infantry battalion at one time and cross the Taiwan Strait at the highest speed. To form a solid beachhead, the technical requirement for designing the Type 072 tank landing ship is to have a fast speed. The design speed of the Type 072 tank landing ship is 18 knots, and it can actually reach a high speed of 20.8 knots. It can cross the Taiwan Strait in one night. The tank landing ship is also equipped with 4 57mm double-mounted naval guns. During the operation, the amphibious tanks and assault boats are first put down at a safe distance to float ashore, and then directly flood the beach. Artillery suppresses shore targets and supports landing troops, but only 30% of the global coast is suitable for this type of combat.

A 726A air-cushion landing craft can carry a main battle tank or 2 armored infantry squads, and a "European Bison"-class large air-cushion landing craft can carry 3 main battle tanks, but the biggest problem of the hovercraft is that it is relatively fragile and has an endurance of only 300 In the sea, although the air-cushion landing craft can land on 70% of the coast, except for the fast speed, there is no means of protection, and it is an ideal target for the enemy. Instead, it emphasizes choosing areas with weak defenses. Even if there is a frontal assault, it is necessary to ensure that the firepower of the enemy is suppressed. A Type 071 landing ship dispatches four air-cushion landing craft to carry 4 main battle tanks or 8 infantry fighting vehicles at a time. , The troops are not too many. It takes many round trips to transport a complete synthetic battalion. It is possible to be counterattacked by the enemy before the troops are assembled, and a 072A tank landing ship can transport more than ten main vehicles at a time. For battle tanks, 3-4 Type 072A tank landing ships can transport a heavy synthetic battalion to land, which is enough to resist the counterattack of a brigade of the enemy. Of course, the premise is that the defensive firepower of the enemy has been suppressed by the firepower of the navy and air force. In the direction of the South China Sea, there are many islands and reefs dotted around, and the combat intensity and breadth are not high. Battleships and fighter jets play the leading role. Tank landing ships are mainly used to quickly transport reinforcements to strengthen the defense of islands and reefs. The archipelago transported 9 Type 63 amphibious tanks and 1 Type 63 armored transport vehicle to make up for the lack of heavy weapons on the island. However, the speed of the Type 079 tank landing ship equipped by the South China Sea Fleet was only 12 knots. At the same time, the Type 073 tank landing ship also It is only 16 knots. Although the "Bison" air-cushion landing ship can sail at a high speed of 55 knots during emergency missions, the voyage of Yongxing Island, which is 330 kilometers away from Sanya, can only be back and forth, and it is impossible to reach Nansha. The 072 tank landed It only takes 10 hours for the ship to send a tank to Xisha. The 072 tank landing ship has a battery life of 3,000 nautical miles, a self-sustaining force of 20 days, a cabin area of 750 square meters, and no problem with carrying 2,000 tons of cargo. The excellent ocean-going performance is fully capable of sailing in Nansha, while the Type 073 / 079 landing ship has an endurance of only 1,000 nautical miles and a self-sustaining power of 7 days, with a loading capacity of only 260 tons.

In the future, the Chinese Navy will have a world-class amphibious ship force, which may form 6 amphibious strike groups. According to the calculation of an amphibious strike group consisting of 1 amphibious assault ship and 2 dock landing ships, it will have a total of 6 large amphibious assault ships and 12 ships. The 071 dock landing ship ensures that 1-2 amphibious strike groups can be deployed at any time throughout the year for ocean-going amphibious operations. In the future amphibious operations, it is no longer a problem to transport the marines to land in three dimensions, while 072 Tank landing ships will continue to serve as military transport for a long time in the future, or to transport large numbers of subsequent army troops ashore for combat when there is no need to venture into the beachhead. As a supplement to the amphibious strike group, it is a bit wasteful to use amphibious assault ships to transport the army. Civilian merchant ships can only be loaded and unloaded at the port, and the use of tank landing ships that land on the beach is still useful, so it is thought a wise move to continue to build the 072 series of tank landing ships that are outdated on the surface.

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Page last modified: 09-02-2022 15:26:39 ZULU