Chinese Navy conducts naval exercises with three Type 071 Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock vessels

According to pictures released by the China Ministry of Defense website on November 23, 2020, the Chinese navy has conducted different types of naval exercises with three Type 071 Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock vessels including the Wuzhishan (Hull 987), Kunlunshan (Hull 998), and Changbaishan (Hull 989).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The amphibious dock landing ships Wuzhishan (Hull 987), Kunlunshan (Hull 998) and Changbaishan (Hull 989) attached to a landing ship flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam alongside in waters of the South China Sea during a maritime training exercise on November 18, 2020. (Picture source China MoD)

The three Chinese navy Type 071 amphibious transport dock vessels attached to a landing ship flotilla under the PLA Southern Theater Command have conducted a maritime training exercise on November 18, 2020. The exercise lasted four days, focusing on 10 subjects including comprehensive defense, Landing Craft Air Cushion’s (LCAC) transfer, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operation, and live-fire operations.

The Type 071 (NATO reporting name: Yuzhao) is a class of Chinese amphibious transport dock ships in service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Currently, 6 Type 071 are in service with the Chinese Navy, and two additional ships have already been launched.

In September 2019, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) signed a contract with China for the acquisition of a Type 071E design (Yuzhao-class) landing platform dock (LPD) ship. The Type 071E is the export variant of the Yuzhao class (Type 071) already operating with the Chinese navy.

An amphibious transport dock also called a landing platform/dock (LPD), is an amphibious warfare ship used to embark, transports, and land elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. The Chinese Navy Type 071 is able to embark 600 to 800 troops.

The well deck of the Type 071 houses up to four Type 726 Yuyi-class air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC), which can transfer vehicles or marines to the shore at high speed. The LCACs are launched by flooding of the docking area. The vessel can also carry landing craft on port/starboard davits. The vehicle deck can house amphibious assault vehicles including the ZBD05 amphibious IFV and the ZTD-05 amphibious light tank. The stern ramp, two side doors and ramps allow rapid loading of the vehicles and equipment.

The Yuzhao-Class has a displacement of 25,000t when fully loaded with up to 800 marines and their equipment and supplies, as well as amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft, and transport helicopters. She has a length of 210 m, a beam of 28 m, and a draft of 7 m.

The Yuzhao-Class is armed with a Soviet-made AK-176 76mm naval gun system, four Soviet-made AK-630 30 mm CIWSs (Close-In Weapon Systems) and 4 18-tube Type 726-4 decoy/chaff launcher. She is powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system including four Shaanxi 16 PC2.6 V400 diesel engines coupled to two controllable pitch propellers through twin shafts. She can reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) with a maximum cruising range of 10,000 nmi (19,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph).