Chinese PLA Navy dual amphibious assault group achieves combat capability

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently conducted a full test for an amphibious transport group consisting of two Type 075 amphibious assault ships in the South China Sea, a move experts said on Sunday indicated that such a dual vessel group has achieved combat capability. Liu Xuanzun reports in Global Times.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Two Type 075 amphibious assault ships of the PLA Navy - the Guangxi and the Hainan - in 2022. (Picture source: screenshot of a video released by the PLA Navy)

The Hainan and the Guangxi, both Type 075 amphibious assault ships developed in China, recently formed an amphibious transport group and received a full training acceptance test featuring joint multidimensional amphibious landing and maritime replenishment drills in an undisclosed area in the South China Sea, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on October 15.

Starting the training test, Z-8C transport helicopters carrying marines took off from the flight deck of the Hainan first, as Type 726 air-cushioned landing craft and Type 05 amphibious armored vehicles were released from the well deck of the Hainan and the Guangxi, commencing a beach assault, according to the CCTV report. During the test, the helicopters were required to take off and land at different landing positions. The helicopters and the air-cushioned landing craft also completed personnel transfer and refueling tests, the report said.

After the first test on amphibious landings, the two amphibious assault ships then successfully completed maritime replenishment drills with the Type 901 comprehensive supply ship Chaganhu, CCTV reported.

The full training acceptance test shows that both the Hainan and the Guangxi are now combat-ready, and that the PLA Navy can deploy two amphibious assault ships in an amphibious transport group, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday. By having two amphibious assault ships forming a dual vessel group, the PLA Navy can double the force in landing missions.

As the PLA Navy's first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Hainan entered service with the PLA Southern Theater Command Navy on April 23, 2021. The second ship Guangxi's commissioning into the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy was revealed in April 2022, Liu Xuanzun reports. Since the Hainan and the Guangxi are affiliated with two different theater commands, their combination also displays a high level of joint operation capability of the PLA. China launched a third Type 075 amphibious assault ship in January 2021.