Friday, August 10, 2012

China launches largest amphibious augmentation platform yet

The Bohai Green Sea Pearl at Yantai Port
A Chinese official described the vessel as ‘a new leap forward for Chinese military/civilian vessels strategic projection’ 

A ceremony was held on 8 August at Yantai Port in Shandong Province for the launch of the 36,000-tonne ‘Bohai Sea Green Pearl’ (渤海翠珠) ferry vessel, whose dual design allows it to serve as a civilian transport ship and as an ‘amphibious augmentation platform’ performing troop and heavy equipment transport for the Chinese military.

Reported by Chinese media as Asia’s largest, most advanced and most luxurious commercial cruise ship, the ‘Bohai Sea Green Pearl’ was developed as part of a civilian-military integration strategic development project intended to enhance the ability of passenger transport in the Bohai Bay while reinforcing strategic maritime delivery capabilities for continental Chinese military forces.

APCs perform boarding
The ship is 178.8 m long, 28 m wide, with total displacement of 36,000 tonnes. Its dual-use design means the vessel can accommodate more than 2,000 people or more than 300 vehicles, and has a helicopter landing platform.

My article, published today in Jane’s Defence Weekly, continues here (subscription required).

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