The Type 072A landing ship, or Yuting-II of the People’s Liberation Army Navy is a class of large amphibious warfare ship
Amphibious capabilities are considered extremely important for China in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait issue. In recent years China has continuously increased amphibious ships for its fleet. In addition to new-generation amphibious ships such as Type-075 or Type 071, China maintains a relatively large number of Type 072A-class landing ships.
A total of 15 ships were built entirely domestically. The first nine ships entered service from 2003 to 2005. They were completed with a twin 37mm turret. A second batch – reportedly of four ships from Wuchang shipyard and two from Fujian shipyard – began entering service in 2015. The 37mm guns were replaced by a H/PJ-17 30 mm gun.
The Type-072A was designed to support amphibious warfare, which is responsible for moving people, machinery and supplies from ship to shore. The vessels are designed to perform well in shallow waters, allowing them to operate close-to-shore and, beyond this. The Type 72A has a standard displacement of 3,770 tons, and a full load of 4,800 tons. Other parameters include a length of 120m, a beam of 16.4m, and a draft of 3.2m.
The hull can house a bevy of mission-support items from combat vehicles to combat troops and related supplies, allowing for the reinforcement of beachheads as land forces establish their presence. At least two medium-lift navy helicopters are supported from her top deck and these further aid in the movement of men and supplies from the ship to the shore line and beyond.
The vehicle deck covers the whole length of the ship and includes hinged access doors at the bow with a ramp at the stern giving complete thru-way access to the ship’s internals. Up to 250 combat-ready personnel can be carried by each ship alongside vehicles, helicopters, and supplies – this is in addition to the operating complement of about 120.
Type 72A is equipped with a propulsion system consisting of two diesel engines, driving twin shafts astern. This arrangement gives the vessel a maximum speed of 17 knots in ideal conditions, an operating range of 3,000 nm. In addition, the Type 072A is designed to accommodate air-cushioned landing craft by incorporating a deck well.