Thai Navy to Receive Chinese Type 071E Landing Platform Dock Soon

  • Bureau
  • 07:54 AM, January 7, 2023
  • 910
Thai Navy to Receive Chinese Type 071E Landing Platform Dock Soon
Type 071E 'HTMS Chang' landing platform dock @CSSC

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) recently organized a launching ceremony in Shanghai for HTMS Chang, its Chinese-made Type 071E landing platform dock, which could indicate that it will be delivered to Thailand and put into service soon.

RTN chief of staff Admiral Thaloengsak Sirisawat presided over the ceremony at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding on January 4, Thai media outlet The Nation reported.

The Type 071E is an export version of the Type 071 amphibious landing ship in service with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy with adjustments and customizations based on the needs of the Royal Thai Navy. Its large vehicle deck can support military vehicles including tanks and armored vehicles as well as mechanized and air-cushioned landing craft; its flight deck and hangar can host several helicopters for vertical landing missions, experts told China’s Global Times.

With the Type 071E, the Royal Thai Navy will not only get enhanced troop transport capability, but also improved disaster relief capability, according to experts.

The HTMS Chang will become Thailand's third landing platform dock, replacing its second landing platform dock. The name is derived from an island in Trat province. The order was placed in September 2019, according to the report.

The second landing platform dock was decommissioned in 2005, 43 years after the U.S. Navy transferred it to the Thai government on August 31, 1962. The Thai Navy sank the second HTMS Chang at Hin Luk Bat diving site in Trat in November 2012, as part of a project to recover marine resources there, read the report.

The RTN has a 20-year strategy (2017-2036) to procure four landing platform docks to be used in operations such as amphibious warfare, marine rescue and disaster relief.

The new HTMS Chang is 213m long and 28m at the beam. It has a maximum displacement of 20,003 tons and a top speed of 25 knots. The 20,000 ton-class landing platform dock can tolerate choppy seas and can accommodate 600 officers. Built at a cost of 6.1 billion baht ($180 million), the ship will be commissioned by the Royal Thai Fleet in Chonburi province.

Developed by the No.708 Research Institute under China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and built by the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, the Type 071E landing platform dock completed its sea trial in early December 2022.

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