The Type 075 landing helicopter dock Guangxi (32) was launched in April 2020 and started sea trials on December 20, 2020.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), on December 4, China’s second Type 075 amphibious dock appeared at the naval base of the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Zhushan city, Zhejiang province. The Type 075 landing helicopter dock Guangxi (32) was launched in April 2020 and started sea trials on December 20, 2020. The ship is scheduled to enter service very soon.
The ship is named after Guangxi, an autonomous region located in South China and bordering Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin. While the Type 075 appears to be slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy’s Landing helicopter assaul, it is larger compared to French or Spanish Landing helicopter assaul equivalents. It is actually pretty close in size to Italy’s future Trieste LHD.
The Chinese Navy officially started development work on the Type 075 in 2011. The ship has a length of 237m, a beam of 43m and a draft of 8.5m. The overall design of the ship is quite harmonious, with an island on the starboard side, the front of the flight deck is ostentatiously blocky and square. The island superstructure area is home to sensors, processing systems, and common communications. It is unclear what radar systems and sensors will be installed on this ship.
The Type 075 at launch appeared to have 2 large stern elevator, connecting the hangar deck and flight deck, allowing the aircraft to be brought up or lowered as needed. At the rear of the hull is a loading area with a well deck and stern gate. The well deck is a large, open area located at the waterline of ships that can be flooded using ballast tanks to allow smaller water craft to enter and leave the ship.
Type 075 still uses conventional engines instead of installing nuclear reactors. The ship can reach speeds of up to 23 knots, can keep up with the People’s Liberation Army Navy surface fleet.
The Type 075 is expected to be able to transport 30 attack or transport helicopters, marines, air cushioned ships, armored vehicles and even small submarines. In theory, China’s Type 075 landing helicopter dock will not be able to carry fighters and China does not have any capable fighter aircraft like the F-35B. However, with the ability to carry such a number of helicopters, it is clear that Type 075’s sea combat capability is very dangerous.
The Guangxi, after being put into service, will significantly increase China’s amphibious warfare capabilities. The Type 075 can carry more helicopters than the Type 071, in combination with high-speed boats that can deploy troops quickly on attacking missions.