China mass-produces amphibious landing craft: report

Taipei-- China has begun the mass production of a domestically-developed amphibious landing craft which will enhance the country's amphibious capabilities and enable it to transport heavy military vehicles in the event of war with Taiwan, Chinese media reported recently.

Chinese news website Guancha.cn reported earlier this week that a new boat of Type 726 Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) appeared on a military program broadcast on China's CCTV on Jan. 31, which indicated China has begun the mass production of this type of craft.

LCACs are used to transport troops and equipment from ships to land-based operations.

The report said that the new Type 726 LCAC is part of the Chinese navy's South China Sea fleet.

The Type 726 LCAC can carry China's Type 99 tank and move at a speed of more than 60 knots, the report said.

Built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, the first Type 726 LCAC was launched in December 2009, since which time the Chinese navy has had four boats of this type, the report said.

The mass production of the Type 726 LCAC will significantly enhance China's amphibious combat capability, the report said. It not only bolsters Beijing's ability to transport troops to distant locations, but also beefs up the country's ability to transport heavy military tanks in the event of war with Taiwan, the report added.

The CCTV program followed earlier media reports in 2016 that satellite images provided evidence the amphibious landing craft was being built at the Jiangnan Shipyard building, it said.

There were no immediate comments from the Taiwan government.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel