Type 075 NEWCON Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)
On 25 September 2019, the Type 075 large-scale amphibious assault ship that had sprung up in the military, held a launching ceremony in Shanghai. The overall design is rather pleasing, with a nicely raked island that is quite elegant compared to the blocky American designs. The front of the flight deck is ostentatiously blocky and square, and is clearly an amphbious assault ship "under the guidance of Xi Jinping's new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics".
It soon became clear that the Type 075 is an LHD Amphibious Assault Ship (Multipurpose, D = dock ), with a well deck and stern gate, rather than an LHA Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose, A = aviation), an aviation ship without such traditional amphibious capabilities. In the US Navy, the removal of the well deck from the LHA-6 America amphibious assault ship attempted to change the way the Navy and Marine Corps had conducted amphibious operations over the past several decades. The 075 amphibious assault ship also followed the beginning of the previous landing ships, named after "yu shen". With reference to 071 "Yu Zhao", 072 "Yukang", 073 "Yudao", 074 "Yuhai", 074a "Yubei", it can be inferred that the type 075 landing ship should be "Jade God".
While flight decks of all sizes are common among warships, the well deck is the defining feature of amphibious ships. Well decks are large, open areas located at the waterline of ships that can be flooded using ballast tanks to allow smaller water craft to enter and leave the ship. In the US Navy, they were added to the design of the first purpose-based amphibious assault ship, the LHA, in the 1970s in order to best aid the Marines in getting ashore by air and sea. The various landing craft made for amphibious ship well decks include Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCACs), Landing Craft Utilities (LCUs), and Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs). LCACs, LCUs and AAVs are all means in which Marines and their equipment can travel ashore.
South Korea developed the Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship with a displacement of nearly 18,000 tons, a bit smaller than the Mistral. As for Japan across the sea, it developed the Ozumo-class "helicopter destroyer" with a tonnage that exceeds 25,000 tons and can carry more than 20 helicopters. The Italian Navy's Trieste-class amphibious assault ship is a 33,000-ton ship, the first in Europe. These will all take off and land the F-35B fighter, which has no Chinse counterpart.
Another thing that is missing is another type of equipment, similar to the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport helicopter. Its load and flight speed far exceed the helicopter in the traditional sense, and can even be changed into an early warning aircraft. It is of great significance to enhance the combat capability of the amphibious assault ship, especially the air transport capability. The Quad-tiltrotor [QTR] "Blue Whale" was a project revealed in 2013 by the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute, is among the more ambitious aircraft in the works, and not much has been heard of this project since around 2015.
The main task of the amphibious assault ship is the force delivery. The 075 can deliver dozens of tanks or hundreds of soldiers at a time. The force of the troops is powerful, and the 075 can carry more than a dozen armed helicopters to the land. In addition, 075 has another function. Amphibious attack ships are often considered to be independent or to form their own teams. When circumstances require, the amphibious assault ship can be used as an anti-submarine helicopter carrier and aircraft carrier formation to strengthen the anti-submarine capability of the entire formation! A 075 can carry a minimum of 10 Z-20 anti-submarine versions in anti-submarine mode, which is a huge increase in the anti-submarine strength of the aircraft carrier formation.
Looking forward, the domestic amphibious assault ship will also be equipped with other aircraft to further enhance its combat capability. For example, drones, it is clear that domestic amphibious assault ships will not require a fixed-wing carrier aircraft, but should be considered to be equipped with fixed-wing ship-borne drones. These drones can perform a wide range of reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning and strike missions. For example, the domestic JY-300 unmanned early warning aircraft, this drone uses the conformal antenna technology, can provide airborne warning for the formation, expand the low-altitude horizon of the formation, and enhance the formation warning and defense capabilities. In addition, the domestic amphibious assault ship also reserved space for manipulating the domestic tilting rotorcraft. It is said that the domestic tilting rotorcraft has entered the development stage. The transport capacity of the aircraft is much higher than that of the helicopter. If the domestic amphibious assault ship can carry it in the future, delivery capabilities will be greatly enhanced.
The 075 amphibious assault ship became an indispensable part of modern naval warfare, especially landing and reef operations due to its unique design, special loading and powerful mobile combat capability. However, due to its complicated design, high shipbuilding process requirements and high cost, it has become a large surface ship that is second only to the difficulty of building an aircraft carrier. At present, there are only a few countries in the world that can build smaller amphibious ships, such as France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan and South Korea. But so far, only China and the United States can build a ship of the scale of the 075-type amphibious assault ship, which fully reflects the strength of China's ship design and shipbuilding capabilities, but also reflects China’s current national strength.
The Chinese navy's amphibious landing combat capabilities and equipment technology level have increased rapidly in recent years, and progress has been very rapid. At present, the amphibious landing fleet consisting of multiple 071 integrated landing ships and a large number of medium tank landing ships has a very large delivery capability. In particular, there is a shortage of vertical delivery capability and large-scale military force delivery capability within a short period of time. Existing forces compared with the preparation requirements for completing the military struggle for the reunification of the motherland, still have a large gap. The 075 ship is exactly the most important puzzle to make up for this shortfall. With the huge amphibious landing and delivery fleet composed of the 071 integrated landing ship, the Chinese Navy's amphibious combat and long-range delivery capabilities will multiply, and its ability to maintain national unity and territorial security will become stronger and stronger.
A fire broke out 11 April 2020 on the first PLAN Type 075 LHD, which was then fitting out at the Hudong shipyard in Shanghai. It seems as if the fire was quickly put out but how it will affect the ship's schedule was not clear. The ship was for the most part externally clean, apart from smoke marks to the stern. Allegedly some foam/styrofoam containers used to store equipment caught fire.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|