Two Type 075 amphibious assault ships of PLA Navy, the Guangxi and the Hainan, sail in formation at an undisclosed sea region in 2022. Photo: Screenshot of a video released by the PLA Navy.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently conducted a full test for an amphibious transport group consisting of two Type 075 amphibious assault ships in the South China Sea, a move experts said on Sunday indicated that such a dual vessel group has achieved combat capability.
The Hainan and the Guangxi, both domestically developed Type 075 amphibious assault ships, recently formed an amphibious transport group and received a full training acceptance test featuring joint multidimensional amphibious landing and maritime replenishment drills in an undisclosed area in the South China Sea, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.
Starting the training test, Z-8C transport helicopters carrying marines took off from the flight deck of the Hainan first, as Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft and Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles were released from the well deck of the Hainan and the Guangxi, commencing a beach assault, according to the CCTV report.
During the test, the helicopters were required to take off and land at different landing positions. The helicopters and the air-cushioned landing craft also completed personnel transfer and refueling tests, the report said.
"The consecutive release and retrieval of helicopters and air-cushioned landing craft is a key combat capability of an amphibious assault ship… And the vessel's comprehensive combat capability has received a great boost," Captain Yu Haibo, the executive officer of the Hainan, was quoted as saying.
After the first test on amphibious landings, the two amphibious assault ships then successfully completed maritime replenishment drills with the Type 901 comprehensive supply ship Chaganhu, CCTV reported.
The full training acceptance test shows that both the Hainan and the Guangxi are now combat ready, and that the PLA Navy can deploy two amphibious assault ships in an amphibious transport group, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.
featured a scene where the Hainan and the Guangxi sailed together in dual ship drills.
By having two amphibious assault ships forming a dual vessel group, the PLA Navy can double the force in landing missions, which is very practical in combat, the expert said.
As the PLA Navy's first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Hainan entered service with the PLA Southern Theater Command Navy on April 23, 2021. The second ship Guangxi's commissioning into the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy was revealed in April 2022.
Since the Hainan and the Guangxi are affiliated with two different theater commands, their combination also displays a high level of joint operation capability of the PLA, the expert said.