Thursday, May 27, 2010
071 LPD to the Gulf of Aden.
For the past six months a persistent rumor has been "floating" around suggesting that the PLAN is planning to send their largest surface combatant, the 071 Yuzhao LPD, to the Gulf of Aden to aid the on-going international anti-piracy operations.
This recent PLA Daily photograph (here) of a PLAN Z-8 helicopter pilot leaving his 1-year old son to "train for a long range" mission adds credence to the rumor. The only PLAN combat vessel capable of deploying two medium-sized helicopters is the Type 071 LPD.
Having a 20,000t Command and Control mother ship will not only enhance on-station time for the Chinese task force, its two Z-8's also have a significant range advantage over the lighter Z-9 and Ka-27 currently serving onboard the Chinese task force. The Z-9 is designed to drop a 4-member SpOps team to a distressed ship. On the other hand, the Z-8 is capable of delivering 20+ fully armed troops.
6-29-2010's CCTV report confirms that the 071 LPD (998 Kunlun Shan) will participate in the PLAN's 6th task force deployment to the Gulf of Aden.
You can catch the CCTV report in youtube (here) (thanks HHG for the upload)
China sends sixth naval escort flotilla to Gulf of Aden
English.news.cn 2010-06-30 14:44:10
ZHANJIANG, Guangdong, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China's sixth naval escort flotilla departed Wednesday for the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.
The flotilla with more than 1,000 personnel, including Navy special forces troops, is to relieve the fifth flotilla, which has been cruising the waters off the Somalia coast for more than three months.
The amphibious landing ship Kunlunshan, destroyer Lanzhou, and supply ship Weishanhu of the fifth fleet, will escort vessels sailing through the region.
It is the first deployment of the amphibious landing ship Kunlunshan, with a displacement of 18,500 tonnes, on an escort mission.
The previous five Chinese fleets to the Gulf of Aden have escorted 2,248 Chinese and foreign ships in 213 batches in this region, which has been plagued by pirate attacks, since December 2008.
Editor: Wang Guanqun