The Type 071E landing platform dock China built for Thailand recently completed its sea trial, with experts saying on Wednesday that the large warship’s construction is going smoothly and the vessel is expected to be delivered soon.
Developed by the No.708 Research Institute under the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC) and built by the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, the Type 071E landing platform dock successfully completed its sea trial recently, CSSC announced in a statement released on social media on Tuesday.
The test results show that all performance parameters of the ship are up to or superior to requirements stated in the contract, and received high approval by the client, the statement reads.
The agreement for China to build the landing platform dock for Thailand’s navy was signed in Beijing in 2019, marking the first time China has exported a landing platform dock, as well as a major achievement of China-Thailand comprehensive strategic cooperation, the company said.
The sea trial demonstrated that the Type 071E is generally a reliable ship, and it is expected to be delivered to the Royal Thai Navy soon, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
It took a short period of just about three years from the contract signing to completing the sea trial, which reflects China’s high shipbuilding capabilities, Wei said.
In the same time period, the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard also built Type 075 amphibious assault ships, Type 054A frigates and several civilian vessels, according to media reports.
As a 20,000 ton-class landing platform dock that is competitive on the global arms market, the Type 071E’s transport capability and far sea maneuvering capability are among the best in the world, and its speed and endurance are considered superior to its foreign counterparts, reaching a world-leading level, CSSC said.
The Type 071E is an export version of the Type 071 amphibious landing ship in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy with adjustments and customizations based on the needs of the Royal Thai Navy, Wei said.
Its large vehicle deck can host military vehicles including tanks, armored vehicles as well as mechanized and air-cushioned landing craft; its flight deck and hangar can host several helicopters for vertical landing missions, Wei said.
With the Type 071E, the Royal Thai Navy will not only get enhanced troop transport capability in far sea, but also improved disaster relief capability, the expert said.
From January to February 2022, the PLA Navy sent the Type 071 amphibious dock landing ship Wuzhishan carrying more than 1,400 tons of supplies to Tonga, sailing more than 5,200 nautical miles to help the South Pacific country in disaster relief after a volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami.
Warship Cam photo