Defense News has published new photos and an analysis of a large amphibious assault ship for China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) nearing completion in a shipyard in Shanghai.
The images show a large vessel of similar size and configuration to the US Navy’s 40,000t Wasp class LHD, with a large stern aircraft elevator and well deck, island superstructure, and full-length flight-deck capable of accommodating up to six large helicopter landing spots and additional parking.
Dubbed Type 075, the new vessel represents a significant new capability for the PLA-N compared to the six 25,000t Type 071 Yuzhao class landing platform dock (LPD) vessels it has on strength to provide amphibious capabilities.
China currently operates two aircraft carriers developed from the Soviet-era 75,000t Kusnetsov class which can carry J-15 fighters and Z8 and Z-9 helicopters. As with western LHD/LHA vessels, the Type 075 does not have a catapult, arresting gear or a ski-jump launch ramp, so any future fixed-wing aircraft embarked will need to be short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) capable.