According to information published by Global Times on March 3, 2022, China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Hainan, has reached initial operating capability, and the vessel will visit harbors and ports all over the world.
After a year of training, the Hainan will have full operating capability in the not-too-distant future, Captain Lü Yongjun, the captain of the ship, revealed in a program broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) on Saturday.
The Hainan entered service with the PLA Navy on April 23, 2021 as China’s first amphibious assault ship. Often dubbed a helicopter carrier, the vessel can carry a large number of helicopters in addition to amphibious armored vehicles and tanks, and launch both horizontal and vertical landing missions on islands and reefs, and even land from the sea, analysts said.
By reaching initial operating capability, a warship is ready for deployment for basic missions, and can start to participate in more complicated, realistic combat-oriented exercises to enhance its combat readiness, so the vessel can become fully operational, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Wednesday, requesting anonymity.
To the Hainan, it means that not only have the sailors familiarized themselves with the ship, its systems and its weapons, but also that the ship has integrated with the helicopters, the landing craft and the amphibious vehicles that it carries, the expert said.
While military analysts expect that the Type 075 will play vital roles in possible operations on the island of Taiwan, as well as islands and reefs in the South China Sea, the Hainan will have missions that go further.
In addition to greatly enhancing the PLA Navy’s amphibious combat capability, the Type 075 will also contribute to the force’s strategy of far sea defense, Lü said on the CCTV program, noting that the ship can be self-sufficient in far sea areas for an extended period of time.
Amphibious assault ships can not only conduct amphibious landing missions as part of traditional warfare but also join anti-terrorism warfare and participate in many types of military operations other than warfare, such as disaster relief, humanitarian aid and evacuation of nationals, experts said.
Hainan (31) is the lead ship of the Type 075 landing helicopter dock of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. She was commissioned on 23 April 2021. She was the first ship of the class and laid down in 2018 and launched on 25 September 2019 at the Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai.