Type 072 Yukan-class large landing ship
China developed three small landing ships between 1955 and 1962. Later in 1975, two medium landing ships were developed and produced. One of which, the Type 072, was developed by the No. 708 Institute and had a cargo capacity of 45 tons and also had a weapons system. Compared to previous landing craft, the Type 072 had a more slender bow for less resistance, had a 17 m foldable double-section drawbridge. More landing craft were researched in the 1980s, which were meant to be larger than the Type 072.
The Yukan-class large landing ships were built to replace the elderly Landing Ship Tank vessels that have been reduced to dockside mooring. First completed in 1980 at WuHan shipyard, the YuKan class LST provides lift for 200 troops, 10 tanks, and 2 LCVP totaling 500 tons. It is equipped with 8 57mm/50 guns firing 120rds/min to 12 km, and 4 25mm/60 guns firing 270rds/min to 3 km. 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 amphibious landing capability is largely restricted to the Yuting and Yukan-class landing ships.
"The LST is a great improvement over older amphibious ships such as the AP (Assault Personnel) and STUFT (Ships Taken Up From Trade), i.e. civilian freighter and cargo ships, in which infantry have to unload into the very small WWII style of Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) or Landing Craft Utility (LCU). Before the assault begins, LCVP and LCU are required to move into a designated assembly area where they form into assault waves before their pre-arranged approach to the shore. This is a time consuming, dangerous process and requires massive NGS to suppress the defenders from targeting the assembly area." [People's Liberation Army's Amphibious Capabilities: A Note on Recent Changes 20 June 2004]
One of the challenges of modern landing operation, main battle tanks and other heavy equipment is easy to transport and beach landing crossing. Currently the world's way to solve this problem mostly rely on large and medium-sized landing craft, amphibious transport equipment to the predetermined area, the pan of water, shock beachhead, seize and control the landing site until later, and then transported from the main battle tanks and other heavy equipment ashore pier . 072 is the Chinese Navy amphibious landing ship in the main vessel.
The 072-type landing craft has both an open layout and a shielded high tank deck. The length is nearly 120 m, depth 9 m. Type width 15 m, draft of about three meters, a displacement of 3100 tons, maximum speed of 18 knots. In wartime, 072-type landing craft could carry a medium tank company and an infantry company, or load an infantry battalion and a recoilless Baolian. Its large cabin area of ??over 700 square meters, used for transportation tasks, loading supplies up to 2000 tons. Usually ship crew of approximately 130 people. As the ship's ballast water tanks can be loaded with fresh water when necessary, so the crew voyage comfort greatly improved.
Development of landing craft from the world, large-scale, general-purpose technology has become a trend, such as the United States, Britain, France, Italy and other countries are equipped with landing large amphibious assault ships of great ability, and also the development of more advanced, higher-tonnage , faster speed landing craft. Around China, Japan, South Korea also to develop large landing ship, tonnage, generally in the 10,000 tons or more, can carry more helicopters, hovercraft landing and other new tools.
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