The Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) has revealed a new utility landing craft that can carry armored vehicles and troops, and complement air cushioned landing craft in large landing missions.
The revelation comes amidst hightened rhetoric in Chinese media circles of an impending invasion of Taiwan following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
During recently conducted landing drills in the East China Sea, a large landing ship and two utility landing craft conducted an integration training for amphibious landing mission in an undisclosed region in the East China Sea, the PLA Eastern Theater Command (PLA-ETC) announced on its Sina Weibo account, Global Times reported.
The craft seems like a new one, observers said, citing photos attached to the Sina Weibo post, which did not give further details as to its dimensions and carrying capacity. The craft can carry tanks, armored vehicles, troops and equipment from larger landing ships to beaches or ports in amphibious landing missions.
Regarding recent PLA-N drill near Taiwan, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of National Defense, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, said at a press conference on Thursday that 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, Tan said.