The modern Chinese Navy (People's Liberation Army Navy - PLAN) has a heavy focus on the amphibious operation, particularly as it consistently eyes the renegade island of Taiwan sitting just a short hop from its shores. Various ship types are dedicated to the costly and massive operational undertaking and these include "Landing Helicopter Dock" (LHD), "Amphibious Transport Dock" (ATD), and "Landing Ship Tank" (LST) landing ships. The Type 072A LST is a class of landing ships that encompasses fifteen total vessels operating throughout the North Sea, East Sea, and South Sea fleets of the PLAN service. It is known to NATO as the "Yuting III-class".
These are amphibious warfare support ships charged with moving man, machine, and supplies from ship-to-shore. The vessels are given shallow draughts of just 10.5 feet, allowing them to operate close-to-shore and, beyond this, dimensions include a hull with an overall length of 394 feet and a beam of 53.8 feet.
Displacement ranges from 3,770 tons under standard load to 4,800 tons under full load. The hull can house a bevy of mission-support items from combat vehicles to combat troops and related supplies, allowing for the strengthening / reinforcement of beachheads as land forces establish their presence. At least two medium-lift navy helicopters are supported from her top deck and these further aid in the movement of men and supplies from the ship to the shore line and beyond. The vehicle deck covers the whole length of the ship (bow-to-stern) and includes hinged access doors at the bow with a ramp at the stern giving complete thru-way access to the ship's internals. Up to 250 combat-ready personnel can be carried by each ship alongside vehicles, helicopters, and supplies - this is in addition to the operating complement of about 120.
Power is conventional and involves a pair of marine diesels driving twin shafts astern. This arrangement gives the vessel a maximum headway speed of 17 knots in ideal conditions. Range is out to 3,455 miles when cruising at 14 knots.
The craft features purely defensive armament in the form of 2 x 37mm automatic cannons in a single, twin-gunned mounting. Later batch ships have replaced this installation with a single 30mm H/PJ-17 automatic cannon for more effective point-defense firepower. In either case, the weapon gives some light protection from air attacks / threats, forcing the vessels to rely on accompanying airborne and shipborne elements for enhanced protection.
All fifteen of the vessels are in active service as of August 2021, these operating throughout the North Sea, East Sea, and South Sea fleet detachments of the PLAN and are recognized as prominent players in the various amphibious assault exercises taken on by the service in recent years. The ships have been constructed at the yards of Dalian, Fujian, Zhongua, and Wuhan. In service, they have been used to succeed the aging line of Type 072III series of landing craft in same role (in fact, the Type 072A represents a further evolution of the base design).
Commissioning of the newer Type 072A series began in 2003.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.