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Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST)

Amphibious Assault Support Landing Craft

China | 2003

"The Type 072A Landing Ship Tank represents an important component of Chinese amphibious operation support within the inventory of the PLAN."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/27/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST).
2 x Marine diesel engines of conventional design driving power to 2 x Shafts astern.
17.0 kts
19.6 mph
Surface Speed
2,998 nm
3,450 miles | 5,552 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST).
393.7 ft
120.00 meters
O/A Length
53.8 ft
16.40 meters
10.5 ft
3.20 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST).
First-Batch (2003-2005):
2 x 37mm automatic cannons in single, twin-gunned mounting.

Second-Batch (2015-onward):
1 x 30mm automatic cannon in single, single-gunned mounting.
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST).
1 OR 2 x Medium-lift navy helicopter.
Ships-in-Class (15)
Notable series variants as part of the Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST) family line as relating to the Type 072A LST group.
CNS Tianzhu Shan (911); CNS Daqing Shan (912); CNS Baxian Shan (913); Ship #4 (914); Ship #5 (915); CNS Tianmu Shan (916); Ship #7 (917); CNS Dabie Shan (981); CNS Taihan Shan (982); CNS Huadin Shan (992); CNS Louxiao Shan (993); CNS Daiyun Shan (994); CNS Wanyang Shan (995); CNS Laotie Shan (996); CNS Yunwu Shan (997)
Global operator(s) of the Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.

Shipbuilder(s): Dalian / Fujian / Wuhan / Zhonghua - China
National flag of China

[ China ]
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Image of the Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST)
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.
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Image of the Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST)
Image from the Chinese Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
Type 072A Landing Ship Tank (LST) Amphibious Assault Support Landing Craft appears in the following collections:
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