Source Global Times

BEIJING, China--The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently organised drills in the South China Sea for its first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, as it was announced that the vessel has reached comprehensive operation and management capability with its choppers, landing craft and armoured vehicles.

Analysts said on Thursday that the ship is gaining combat capability very quickly, and will set an example for more vessels of this class.

The domestically developed Type 075 amphibious assault ship the Hainan recently conducted a series of tests and exercises in the South China Sea, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday.

Featuring multiple training tasks including the coordinated operation of ship-borne helicopters, air-cushion landing craft and amphibious armoured vehicles, the drills focused on optimising Hainan's deployment method, improving its command procedures and enhancing its interoperability, CCTV reported.

Takeoffs and landings of a group of Z-8C helicopters on the flight deck, the loadings and releases of a Type 726 air-cushion landing craft and a Type 05 amphibious armoured vehicle were seen in the CCTV report, which also shows the Hainan sailing together with a Type 901 comprehensive replenishment ship.

All training sessions were carried out step by step and led to a steady increase in Hainan's combat capability, the report said.

"Since the commissioning of the Hainan, we have optimised the ship's deployment and continued improving our abilities to operate ship-borne equipment and steer the vessel through a series of exercises. We are pushing forward the integration between crew members and equipment," Senior Captain Chen Chenyang, the chief of staff of the landing detachment on board the Hainan, was quoted by CCTV as saying.

"We have formed the capability to operate and manage the platform comprehensively, and laid a solid foundation for rapidly generating new combat capabilities," Chen said.

Having entered service with the PLA Navy in late April, the Hainan has made significant progress in just eight months, considering that the PLA has never operated an amphibious assault ship before, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Thursday, requesting anonymity.

China has launched three Type 075s as of the end of 2021, and as the first ship, the Hainan will pave the way for the other two as it gains experience in training, the expert said.

The first Type 075, the Hainan, was launched on September 25, 2019 and commissioned on April 23, 2021. The second ship was launched on April 22, 2020 and is expected to enter service soon, while the third ship was launched on January 29, 2021.