PLAN Type 071 LPD News, PIcs, and Reports

Discussion in 'Navy' started by sumdud, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. kwaigonegin
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    kwaigonegin Colonel

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    Has to be a combo of both.. like you said a MBT can't swim!
     
  2. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    Well, the idea would be for the PLAN to have some sort of ARG (Amphibious Ready Group) or Amphibious task force that could conceivably consist of 2-3 LPDs and 1-2 LHDs.

    So, let's say they had 2 LPDs and 2 LHDs, each carrying for LCACs...those four vessels would then launch 16 LCACs at once.

    That force would them not be waiting for 2-3 LCACs to "turn around" each time, but would be able working with 16 LCACs at once, and then maybe also have 4 LSTs as part of the group to compliment them who would then launch a wave of amphibious IFVs as well.

    That would give you a very significant first wave of amphibious landing vessels coming at you.

    The US Navy uses one LHD, one LPD, and one LSD that carry nine LCACs at once...and are rpared in a larger scale operation to have two ARGs (which would mean 18 LCACs at once) if it warranted it.

    Thye also have 6-8 CAS jets (which soon will be F-35Bs) and 4-5 CAS helo gun ships in each ARG to help provide ground support...not to mention the 5: guns and especially the scores of Tomahawk missiles the escort ships have to suppress any enemy fire or reaction at the beachhead and inland.

    I believe that a model more similar to that is what the Chinese have in mind.
     
  3. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    I don't think any of the ACVs would embark IFVs during an assault. As far as I know all the IFVs that the PLA Marines use are amphibious, and some (many?) are of the hydroplaning variety, which means they will mostly be able to keep up with an ACV, depending on the sea state. What this means to me is that IFVs will deploy out the sides of the 071 while MBTs, jeeps, 5/10-ton trucks, and other equipment will be lifted by the ACVs. The non-hydroplaning IFVs would deploy first, then the hydroplaning IFVs, then the ACVs, then the helicopters last, so that they all hit the beach at the same time.
     
  4. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    LCAC has 2 points, one it is fast and two it can be deployed far out at sea, range

    This has 2 advantages, element of surprise and minimal threat of anti ship missile hitting the LPD

    This forms the over the horizon landing strategies

    LST is for low threat close to home environment

    LPD is your global reach asset

    First they would deploy helicopters to land troops behind enemy lines to take out any threat to landing party's and cause diversion

    Second the LCAC would come in

    Followed by swimming units

    But before any of that you would have the air component provide top cover and possibly a carrier giving fixed wing support

    No one would land anything on a beech without air cover unless you want sunk to the bottom of the ocean
     
  5. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    There's not going to be much "surprise" when your target beach has been prepared for landing (pounded into dust by air strikes) for the last several hours beforehand. Having different units arrive at different times is a sure recipe for disaster; all it does is allow defenders breathing room between attack waves, each of which are small and much more easily dealt with compared to the massive wave that could be brought down on a beach by a coordinated simultaneous landing where helos would drop forces behind enemy lines while at the same time swimming IFVs would simultaneously arrive at the beach with ACVs carrying tanks and jeeps. Whatever resistance is still alive would have to deal with multiple enemy targets in front and behind, with no time to choose which to defend against first.

    BTW LSTs are not merely for low threat close to home environment. They were used all over the world during WWII in both the Pacific and European theaters, and were easily blue water capable despite their shallow flat-bottom hull designs by use of ballast systems. By nature of their design they can also attack most of the beaches that ACVs can.
     
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  6. jobjed
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    jobjed Senior Member

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    The Marines' IFVs are all ZBD-05s, which are the hydroplaning type that can travel at 30-40km/h on water. They also operate the ZTD-05 amphibious assault gun that has a low-pressure 105mm gun mounted on a ZBD-05 chassis, and PLZ-07B, an amphibious version of the PLZ-07 122mm SPG. Non-hydroplaning IFVs are operated by the Ground Forces which probably won't constitute the first wave.

    A 071 will likely have a load-out similar to this for an assault on a Taiwanese beach, with a ZTZ-96A or ZTZ-99A aboard the Type 726.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    This doesn't seem to be the most efficient use of the well deck. I would expect it to be fully loaded with with four 726s and the IFVs deployed from the garage decks instead. I believe there are at least two such decks on the 071.

    OTOH it's also possible that if we are talking about a Taiwan scenario and the weather is permitting, the 726s could be traveling external to the 071 and land with their own load of non-amphibious vehicles while the 071 disgorges the load seen in this photo, with the 726s subsequently returning to the 071 to pick up any remaining non-amphibious vehicles for a second or third or more trips.
     
  8. jobjed
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    jobjed Senior Member

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    Admittedly, I don't think the 726s will even be part of the first assault wave. In a landing operation, the PLA's priority would be to establish a beachhead for LSTs and Zubrs to deliver heavy reinforcements, and the quickest way to establish a beachhead is to overwhelm the defenders with firepower, speed and numbers. Four 071s with four 726s to a 071 can deliver, at most, 16 MBTs to the beach per trip whereas if the 726s were replaced with amphibious vehicles, some 120-160 vehicles can be delivered which seems much more lethal.

    There is a case to be made for an MBT's ability to take hits but given how heavily defended the Taiwanese coastline is, I would assume that many of the weapons capable of taking out a ZBD-05/ZTD-05 can also take out or mission-kill an MBT by destroying tracks, optics, or gun. Thus, even though MBTs might have a significant protection advantage theoretically, in practice, I don't think it'll matter very much when it comes to assaulting a Taiwanese beach. If the protection advantage of MBTs is negated, then the only difference between 16 MBTs vs 160 amphibious vehicles is that the former is one tenth the size of the latter, and ten times easier to defeat.

    All in all, I think the PLA's strategy for landing on a heavily-defended Taiwanese beach is to subject the beach to as heavy of a bombardment as humanly possible whilst launching a zerg attack with over a hundred amphibious AFVs to clear the immediate line of defenders, then following up with LSTs and Zubrs to offload MBTs to continue the push inland. Where do the 726s come into play in my scenario? It doesn't, really, which I think explains the limited numbers procured by the PLAN.

    Of course, my scenario is limited to a heavily-defended Taiwanese beach. With increasing global presence, China may call upon her marines to undertake less intense operations against less capable opponents where helicopters and 726s will be more employable. That may explain why the PLAN procured a few of them but not enough to base their primary landing strategy on their use.
     
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  9. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    I think that if the PLAN intended to use the 071's well deck to hold IFVs, they would have just designed larger vehicle decks and a smaller well deck instead. One well deck section could be turned into two vehicle deck sections. This is actually how the San Antonio LPD is designed. Its well deck only has room for 2 LCACs and plenty more vehicle deck space than the 071. It seems to me that the reason the 071 sacrificed vehicle deck space for extra well deck space is precisely because it is meant to be used with all 4 726s at once as part of a beach assault. This indicates to me that the emphasis is not on shear numbers of IFVs but a combined mix of IFVs and non-swimmers like MBTs and jeeps. As for the tradeoff it's not 10 IFVs for 1 MBT. The deck space taken up by 9 ZBD-05s could fit one 726 loaded with 1 Type 96 and 2 jeeps, or 7-8 jeeps, or 3 5-ton trucks.

    By way of comparison, the ground vehicle force of one US Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) consists of:
    4 M1A1s
    7-16 LAVs
    15 AAVs
    6 155m howitzers
    63 HMMWVs
    40 medium-large trucks/logistics vehicles

    A beach assault force isn't just a bunch of IFVs, but a mixed force of many different vehicle types. In fact there are more logistics vehicles then there are combat vehicles in an MEU. The LHD and LPD will have more combat vehicles and less logistics vehicles, and the LSD will have more logistics vehicles and less combat vehicles. In the PLAN there is no known LSD design in the works, so an equivalent force would possibly consist of one 075 and two 71s, each of which having a more even spread of combat and logistics vehicles.
     
  10. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Lieutenant General

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    IMO, what you are describing may be more oriented towards a general purpose MEU assault force that can be suited to multiple different kinds of environments -- and I think for such a purpose, a more multirole loadout and having LCACs in the ship (even including 4 to use up all well deck spaces for LCACs) is entirely sensible. The ground force of an MEU is intended to go more inland and to continue to sustain themselves.

    But for a Taiwan specific contingency, where the strategy will likely initially be much more about securing an initial beach head through speed, firepower, and numbers, I think jobjed's suggestion is logical.

    For example, in the first wave of a beach assault, things like trucks and 155mm towed howitzers probably won't be of that much use. Instead, the goal would be to storm the beach initially with substantial fire support and other joint force activities. Once a beach head is secured, they will start thinking about depositing more longer term ground based fire support and ground based logistics/transport vehicles and hardware.


    I can see the first phase of an amphibious beach assault to be made by a large number of amphibious IFVs from large LPDs, to advance up the beach, before LSTs, Zubrs and 726 LCACs start depositing non-amphibious heavier AFVs like MBTs and heavier IFVs to consolidate their position and secure a more thorough beachhead, and then to start landing vehicles needed to sustain a longer term invasion beyond the initial amphibious assault.


    Of course, a big problem with relying on amphibious IFVs (even ZBD05 derivatives) for the first wave, is that it will force the motherships like LPDs to get relatively close (within a few tens of km at least) of the beach, putting it in threat of not only shorter range and more primitive fires like land based artillery and anti ship guns as well as naval mines, but also of course things like land based AShMs and attack helicopters and maybe even jets with AShMs if any still exist by that time.

    One way to try and heavily compensate for that closing distance is by having a large number of LCACs to position LPDs and the like further out to sea and reducing the transit time of AFVs by virtue of the fast transport time of LCACs.

    Substantial fire support and artillery bombardment against shore positions, and thorough AShM hunting will be complementary to the overall effort as well, and sea based AAW and air superiority with AEW&C and joint networking will reduce the threat as well.


    One idea I've toyed with, for a purely Taiwan scenario, is if the Chinese Navy can build a fast speed LCU, something the size of the Mk 10 LCU; a 240 ton ship that is able to carry up to a single MBT, but able to operate at a relatively higher speed like 20+ knots similar to what BMT once proposed (http://www.bmtdesigntechnology.com....461/bmt-unveils-new-fast-landing-craft-design), vs 10 knots of a Mk 10 LCU.

    The benefit of such a ship, IMO, is that they can likely be built en masse and relatively affordably by Chinese shipyards, and will have the range for a round trip from one side of the strait to the other, so they do not have to rely on big LPDs as a mother ship. The large number of LCUs mean there is no single point of failure like an LPD, though it will be harder to coordinate a mass LCU rush against a beach.

    an LCU is obviously far less flexible than an LCAC in terms of being able to assault multiple different types of environments, but I think a high speed LCU in large numbers will offer substantial meat to an amphibious assault-lift force (in particular by their ability to deposit MBTs onto the beach), while being potentially much cheaper to produce and able to procure in larger numbers than 726 LCACs.
     
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