Well. I came up with something semi-original for a change.
A 30,000-ton container ship converted into a LHP, designed to carry a typical PLA light division's air assault battalion/regiment and its associated aviation wing: 6 Z-9WAs and 6 Mi-17s.
Each flight deck module measures 80 ft by 80 ft. The flight deck will be rather crammed when the ship is fulling loaded, and only the two center deck module can be used for flight operation. The main reason being the PLA ground force's helicopters don't have folding rotor blades. Two refueling / rearming stations -- one at the bow and one at the stern are present. Troop modules are located behind the bridge.
The ship will obviously NOT be used for operations beyond a couple hundred nautical miles.
Please feel free to comment on / critique the idea.
Popeye is the master of deck operations as I suspected.
Both are good points:
1. Nope, no hangar for major maintenance work, only a couple of deck vehicles for reloading / re-arming. Of course, if you blew a fuse, I suspect there'd be spares onboard, but no hoisting the engine out to work on it. I guess one could rotate the helos between an ad-hoc LHP like this and a true LHD, so each helicopter can get some maintenance time every other flight.
2. The ship will be part of a larger amphibious operation and operate 40 clicks offshore to minimize the chance of it getting hit. But yeah, it would be a rather vulnerable target.
I believe it's an idea the PLA has considered. China's got a large fleet of container ships, and with relatively cheap conversions like this, they'd be able to field more air assault units than what their meager number of LHDs allow them to. The concept is kind of a step up from the Royal Navy's use of the Atlantic Conveyor during the Falklands War:
BTW, what do you think about the deck operation?
2 Mi-17s taking off or landing simultaneously sounds reasonable?