The Chinese navy is enhancing its capabilities with the introduction of advanced submarines, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. They're also constructing Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), similar to those used by the US Navy. One such LHD, the CNS Hainan, became operational in April 2021, bolstering the South China Sea Fleet. It accommodates around thirty helicopters, features a spacious hangar, and possesses defensive systems to counter airborne threats.
This LHD, designed since 2011, serves a pivotal role in China's maritime strategy, particularly in relation to Taiwan. With a capacity for up to six simultaneous helicopter takeoffs or landings, the vessel is essential for amphibious assaults. It boasts a well deck for launching and retrieving amphibious vehicles, further enhancing its operational versatility.
China's plan includes the deployment of three LHDs, potentially facilitating the mobilization of 90 helicopters, as well as supporting craft. This significant force projection underscores China's naval ambitions, albeit the actual combat performance of these vessels remains untested.
Service Years: 2021
Status: In service
Class: Type 075
Class Size: 3
Shallow draft and other characteristics enable the ship to support nearshore amphibious assault operations.
Airborne systems warn and protect ships from airborne and low-altitude ballistic and/or missile threats.
On the horizon
The ship is granted over-the-horizon combat capability, usually provided by a launched fixed-wing/rotary-wing aircraft.
Onboard facilities provide for the launching of air and/or land elements for shore attack and infiltration.
Length: 820.2 ft (250 m)
Beam: 98.4 ft (29.99 m)
Draught: 27. 1 ft (8. 26 m)
Displacement: 40,000 tons
Installed Power: 2 x Marine diesels of unknown make, model, and output power driving 2 x Shafts under stern.
Surface Speed: 23. 0 kts (26.5 mph)
2 x 30mm H/PJ-11 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
2 x HHQ-10 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers.