Thailand receives new landing platform dock from Chinese shipbuilder


The new LPD Chang during its departure for Thailand. Photo c/o AAG Thai Defence Page.

Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group has turned-over the new Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) it built for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) on 17 April 2023.

The turn-over ceremony was held on the Chinese shipbuilder’s facility in Shanghai, China and attended by high ranking officials from the Royal Thai Navy led by its Chief of Staff Admiral Thaloengsak Sirisawat and Thai Ministry of Defence, and Chinese government and shipyard officials.

The new ship, which would be named HTMS Chang (LPD-792) once in service with the Royal Thai Navy, would be the third RTN ship to receive the name which was derived from an island in Trat province.

The construction of the new LPD is considered  a new milestone for China, as the ship would be the first Type 071 LPD built for export by China.

It is also a milestone for Thailand, which aims to have four landing platform docks as part of the RTN’s 20-year Strategy from 2017 to 2036 for use in operations including amphibious warfare, maritime rescue and disaster response. So far, the HTMS Chang would be the second LPD in service with the RTN after the Singapore-made Endurance-class LPD HTMS Angthong (LPD-791).

The ship is the result of a $200 million deal between Thailand and China signed on September 2019, as part of improving bilateral and defense relations between the two countries.

The future HTMS Chang was launched on 04 January 2023, and immediately conducted sea trials off the Chinese coast prior to handing over to the RTN. 

The ship was scheduled to sail for Thailand on 18 April 2023, and arrive on 25 April 2023 at Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi province, and will be fitted with additional equipment including defensive weapons.

The ship is based on the Type 071ET, which is an export for Thailand version of the Type 071 Yuzhao-class LPD designed and built for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with Thai-specified modifications and subsystems to suit the RTN’s needs.

Aside from being used as an amphibious warfare ship, it is also being eyed for use as a submarine tender for the RTN’s future fleet of S26T Yuan-class diesel-electric attacks submarines also being built by Chinese shipbuilders.

The HTMS Chang is around 213 meters long and 28 meters wide, has a full load displacement of around 20,000 tonnes, a maximum speed of 25 knots, and was designed to carry around 600 troops including their corresponding equipment.

The ship also has a well-deck capable of handling two Type 726 / Type 726A landing craft air cushioned (LCAC), and two hangars and a flight deck to accommodate medium-sized naval and transport helicopters such as the SH-60B Seahawk, as well as UAVs like the Camcopter S-100.

Once in service, the HTMS Chang will be the largest ship in the Royal Thai Navy’s fleet, even larger than its small aircraft carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet (CVH-911) which is 183 meters long, and is also the largest ship with any navy in Southeast Asia.

The Nation Thailand
[2] Bangkok Post
[3] AAG Thai Defense Page

Thailand receives new landing platform dock from Chinese shipbuilder Thailand receives new landing platform dock from Chinese shipbuilder Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on April 20, 2023 Rating: 5

No comments