The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has commissioned the Taihangshan, a new Type 072B landing ship last week.
The ship was developed for amphibious operations at an unknown naval base of the East Sea Fleet, the Want China Times reported today.
The construction of large landing ships with the ability to carry tanks and heavy armaments is aimed at boosting the PLA's power projection into the Western Pacific, reports Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
The first Type 072 landing ships were built in the 1980s to replace the World War II-era former US Navy tank landing ships in service with the PLA up to that time.
With a displacement of 3,100 tons, the Type 072 is capable of carrying about 10 to 11 tanks as well as 100 to 120 troops. It is fitted with two fixed-pitch propellers and has a maximum speed of 18 knots.
Including the preset one, four upgraded versions of the ship have been developed. Others are the Type 072II, Type 072III and Type 072A.
Further, the PLA Navy's official website confirmed that Taihangshan has a displacement of 5,000 tons. It has been assigned to the East Sea Fleet, responsible for the Taiwan Strait and the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan, which administers them).