Type 726 Yuyi-class hovercraft - Program
|Type 071 LPD||8||4||32|
|Type 075 LHD||4||3||12|
At the beginning of the 21st century, in order to improve the remote amphibious landing and tactics/warfare, the Chinese Navy undertook development of the 726 type air cushion landing craft. With an improved delivery capability, China began to design and manufacture the Type 071 dock landing ship, and independently developed an air-cushion landing craft specially designed for transporting heavy equipment such as tanks and tanks from the sea to the land. This is the 726 type air cushion landing craft. Compared with the Ukrainian bison-class air-cushion landing craft, it has a much smaller weight, 150 tons, and a maximum load capacity of more than 50 tons, similar to the US-made LCAC air-cushion landing craft. It adopts full-lift air-cushion technology and has the ability to cross terrain and artificial obstacles. It can quickly deliver heavy-duty weapons such as 96-type main battle tanks and tanks to the beach, which can enhance the amphibious attack capability of the Chinese Navy.
The 726 type air cushion landing craft first boat began construction in 2008 and was launched in December 2009. In 2010, it entered the Chinese Navy for service. The new improved model after the replacement is called 726A. According to foreign media prediction, the existing four 726 air cushion landing craft were returned to the factory, and the original construction unit was upgraded to the 726A. Because the other problems exposed by the prototype boat during the years of use had been solved one by one, the 726A air cushion landing craft is expected to achieve continuous batch production. In the future, several other 071-type landing ships will be equipped one after another. The history of the Chinese Navy has truly possessed the capability of fast and heavy equipment for amphibious landing operations.
The Type 726 hovercraft used by the Chinese navy had six vessels as of 2019: the prototype, No. 3320, Nos. 3321 and 3322 from the first production group, and Nos. 3330, 3331, and 3332 from the second production group. The 726 hovercraft is a supporting project of the Type 071 comprehensive landing ship, but due to the difficulty of the involved technology, the overall progress lagged behind the Type 071. The first 726 hovercraft, later renamed No. 3320, conducted a test in the Pearl River (near Hong Kong) in 2009 and was further improved in 2010 to carry out escort missions with the Type 071 “Kunlunshan” and participate in the testing. It was not until 2011 that the No. 3320 hovercraft officially entered service after publicly participating in an amphibious landing exercise.
It is reported that the first boat was launched in December 2009 with a maximum load of about 60 tons. The first batch produced a total of three ships, namely 3320, 3321, and 3322 boats, all serving in the Chinese Navy's South China Sea Fleet, and participated in the Aden Bay escort mission with the 998 Kunlunshan dock landing ship, which played a major role.
The first type of 726 air-cushion landing craft was in service at the end of 2009. However, after more than eight years of mass production, the technical bottleneck at that time was the mechanical equipment, and the application and accumulation of the tactical warfare needs to be compiled.The first boats become a textbook for the learning and use of the following 726-type boats.
The Type 726 air cushion landing craft first faced a technical problem with the powerplant drive unit. For the small gas turbines used, there were no domestic models available at that time. For this purpose, the UGT6000 gas turbines of the Ukrainian Shuguang Machinery Complex were imported, and each of the two engines was installed. However, in use, the UGT6000 gas turbine exposed two major shortcomings: first, the engine generates strong low-frequency vibration, and second, the noise level is high, which results in a very harsh working environment. According to foreign media reports, the production of the 726 air cushion landing craft was discontinued, and only the first four were built.
In order to solve the "heart disease" of the 726 type boat, China Aviation Industry Corporation developed the QC-70 small gas turbine based on the "Taihang" military turbofan engine (code: FWS-10). Compared with the UGT6000 gas turbine in Ukraine, the QC-70 has a slightly lower maximum power parameter, but the engine weight is much lighter (from 2.3 tons to 2.3 tons), the weight-to-weight ratio is significantly improved, and the low frequency vibration and high frequency are completely eradicated. Two major diseases of noise have completely cured "heart disease".
It was not until 2013, three years after the first boat was made, that the second 3321 entered service after further development. The 726 has experienced “growing pains,” but it has been doggedly developing, and beginning with the No. 3321 hovercraft, which entered service in 2013, the design has matured. In 2016, the Type 726 hovercraft began to enter mass production. The total number of type 071 integrated landing ships and Type 726s is increasing in the new round of naval plans. Practice shows that China based on self-reliance and hard work, and finally developed a focus on mission, with Chinese characteristics of dual-use hovercraft, and achieved better military and economic benefits.
On January 31, 2017, CCTV reported that "The Sea Wild Horses and the Sea Attacks on the New Blades" appeared in the screen of the Chinese-made "Wild Horse" Type 726 air-cushion landing craft equipped with a landing ship detachment of the South China Sea Fleet. The landing craftship number 3332 appeared in the picture. This is the first official news of the mass production after the first batch of the 726 type of boat in 2009. Previous media reports that the 2016 Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard satellite photo shows that this type of landing craft is being built in batches. The Type 726 "Wild Horse" air-cushion landing craft is an ideal landing combat transportation equipment. Its high speed and amphibious nature greatly improve the impact of landing and landing speed, and increase the tactical suddenness, which can be broken up. It can be used for navigation on ice, snow, swamps and reef beaches. It can also be docked on coastal islands without dock facilities, such as the South Island Reef and the East China Sea Islands. It can be used for logistical replenishment without docks. It can be used for patrol, tidal island patrol alert, transportation, rescue and disaster relief.
The mass production equipment of the "China Mustang" Type 726 air-cushion landing craft has great significance for the Chinese Navy's ability to land across the sea. On the one hand, it can strengthen the ability to deliver troops away from China; on the other hand, it can greatly strengthen the battle against Taiwan." The first wave of the ability to deliver heavy armored vehicles greatly increased the speed of assault from the sea to the land.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|