The Chinese Navy (PLA-N) launched its first amphibious assault ship, the Type 075 at a ceremony in Shanghai Wednesday at a time of growing tensions with Taiwan.
The ship was said to have been constructed in a “record time,” according to various Chinese media outlets. After its superstructure was completed, its communication and electric systems, including radars and painting, were completed in just a few weeks.
The amphibious assault ship is capable of hosting helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft and short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, as well as cabins that can hold amphibious tanks, armored vehicles and air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC).
Following the launch ceremony the warship will see further equipment adjustments and sea trials before its commissioning, according to a Xinhua report.
"The Type 075 will enable the PLA-N to launch a large number of troops and equipment on an enemy beach. The amphibious assault ship is the second complex warship built by China, after its aircraft carrier.
The Type 075 has an estimated displacement of 40,000 tons, a length of 250 meters, a width of 30 meters, a draft of 8.5 meters, and a speed of 23 knots, which is comparable to the US' Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, Chinese state-Owned Global Times reported quoting a US publication.
Many analysts see the Type 075 as a vital tool if the Chinese mainland ever had to reunify the island of Taiwan by force. If Taiwan secessionists cross the red line, the Type 075 could serve as a stern warning to them and foreign opposition forces, an anonymous expert said, according to Global Times.