China’s Type 075 will start maiden voyage

The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ‘s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, which is believed to be built to play a vital role in island seizing operations, is expected to soon make its maiden voyage, as outfitting work is progressing smoothly, media reported on Tuesday, at a time when Taiwan island is holding its annual Han Kuang exercises.

Having caught a minor fire in April, the under-construction Chinese warship did not suffer any major damage.

Latest photos circulated on Chinese mainland social media show that the construction of the first Type 075 amphibious assault ship, which was launched in September 2019 in Shanghai and started outfitting work since then, is nearly completed, as the scaffolds on the ship’s superstructure have been removed, Singaporean news outlet Lianhe Zaobao reported on Tuesday.

It recently underwent cleaning, indicating that its first sea trial could be coming soon, the report said.

The report added that the Type 075’s recent construction progress is happening at a time of Taiwan island’s Han Kuang exercises, which started on Monday. Citing experts, it said that the Type 075 can be used in a reunification-by-force operation by the PLA, and the amphibious warship’s progress can serve as a warning to Taiwan secessionists and recent US arms sales to the island.

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Judging from the photos, the construction of Type 075 is progressing according to the normal pattern of shipbuilding. So it is not likely related to the ongoing Han Kuang exercises. But from a wider perspective, the ship will be a powerful addition to the PLA’s arsenal if Taiwan is to be reunified by force, a Beijing-based military expert told the Global Times on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

A second Type 075 was launched in Shanghai in April. Also in April, the first Type 075 caught on fire in a minor accident. But well-informed sources told the Global Times then that it was not significant and would not have any major impact on further construction.  

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