The second Type 075 landing helicopter dock for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was launched at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai on April 22.
The ship was launched a day before the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the country’s navy, and comes just seven months after the first ship in the class – and the first amphibious assault ship with these capabilities ever to be built in China – entered water in September last year.
The country previously built the smaller 20,000-ton Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) ships which are already in service with the navy.
Type 075 LHDs displace between 35,000 and 40,000 tons, according to analysts and measure some 235 meters in length, which makes them slightly smaller than US Navy’s Wasp- and America-class big deck ships.
China’s LHDs will be able to carry 30 helicopters, and will have enough space for the simultaneous operation of up to six helicopters, according to reports. A more substantial difference between the LHD ships operated by the US and PLA Navy is the ability to launch short takeoff and vertical landing fighter aircraft, which are already operational on a number of US Navy ships.
Construction of a third Type 075 ship is reportedly already underway.