The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) recently conducted landing drills featuring a new type of utility landing craft in the East China Sea, with observers saying on Thursday that this kind of craft can carry armored vehicles and troops, and complement air cushioned landing craft in large-scale landing missions. The drills put the small landing craft’s realistic scenario combat capabilities to test by practicing multiple courses over a long distance and time, the command said, noting that this enhanced the force’s ability to win battles.
A large landing ship and two utility landing craft affiliated with a landing ship detachment attached to the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy recently conducted an integration training for amphibious landing mission in an undisclosed region in the East China Sea. While the specifications of the new landing craft remain unknown, utility landing craft are generally used to carry tanks, armored vehicles, troops and equipment from larger landing ships to beaches or ports in amphibious landing missions.
Compared to air cushioned landing craft, which can land on tougher terrain, utility landing craft have higher requirements for landing grounds, but they are often cost-friendlier than air cushioned landing craft, meaning that more can be produced. Utility landing crafts are heavy lift craft and have over twice the payload and six times the range of air cushion type landing craft. Both types of craft can play important roles in large-scale landing missions. Landing craft are also used to support civilian humanitarian/maritime operations.
The PLA’s operations near aerial and maritime regions around the island of Taiwan featuring multiple military service branches and multiple waves of vessels and aircraft aim at hitting “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces’ arrogance and secessionist actions. As long as “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces do not stop making provocations, the PLA cannot and will not stop taking actions to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.