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Global Times

PLA Navy holds 1st dual amphibious assault ship drills, 'gains powerful new instrument in reunification'

Global Times

By Liu Xuanzun Published: May 12, 2022 08:25 PM

Two Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Type 075 amphibious assault ships recently sailed together in a dual ship exercise for the first time, a move analysts said not only showed that the recently commissioned second ship has achieved a high level of combat capability, but also provided the PLA with a powerful new instrument in amphibious landing operations, with the island of Taiwan being a key potential target.

After announcing the commissioning of the second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Guangxi, in late April, the PLA Navy released a promotional video on Wednesday, introducing the theme song of the ship, the Battle Song of the Flag Ship.

The music video not only reveals the moment when the Guangxi entered service in a commissioning ceremony, but also shows that the new vessel has since carried out a number of training exercises, including maneuvering at sea; integrated training with vessel-based Z-8 helicopters, Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft and Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles; maritime replenishment with a Type 901 comprehensive supply ship; live-fire shooting with ship-borne weapons, and damage control.

It also features for the first time a scene where the Guangxi sailed together with the Hainan, the first Type 075 that entered PLA naval service in April 2021, in dual ship drills.

This official video shows that the Guangxi has gained a high level of combat capability through all kinds of training, and it is rapidly on its way to achieve initial operation capability, a military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday.

As the PLA Navy's second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Guangxi must have utilized the experiences of the first ship, the Hainan, so it could become combat-ready much faster, the expert said.

It took about a year for the first ship to be ready for amphibious combat missions, according to a report by China Central Television in late April.

It is a display of strength and confidence to bring both Type 075s for a dual ship exercise, because with two such powerful ships together, the multidimensional landing capabilities of the PLA will be overwhelming, analysts said.

The lyrics of the Guangxi's song feature a line saying a mission of the ship is "national reunification," a concept usually used to refer to the reunification of the island of Taiwan.

The Hainan is attached to the PLA Southern Theater Command Navy, and the Guangxi is attached to the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy. Should a reunification-by-force operation take place, the two ships can either be deployed from the south and the north to the east side of the island of Taiwan, or they can form a dual amphibious assault ship group, concentrating their forces for a landing mission, the expert said.

The dual amphibious assault ship group is now a new instrument at the PLA Navy's disposal for key amphibious landing missions, the expert said.

A third Type 075 is reportedly undergoing sea trials, and is expected to enter service soon.

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