The PLA practices the maritime transport of troops with a large civilian ferry
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently organized an integrated military-civilian maneuver exercise using a large civilian ferry with a displacement of 45,000 tons, much larger than the ships. similar used in previous practices. The move was aimed at improving the efficiency of troop transport to future battlefields, analysts said Sunday.
More than 1,000 people and vehicles have traveled more than 1,000 kilometers at sea on the Chinese rejuvenation ferry in the exercise organized by a combined arms brigade affiliated with the 81st Army Group of the PLA, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday.
A large number of combat vehicles, including Type 96 main battle tanks, Type 04 infantry fighting vehicles and Dongfeng Mengshi tactical assault vehicles, as well as support vehicles such as medical vehicles, Repair vehicles, engineering vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles and command vehicles boarded the ship in sequence. predetermined based on combat tasks, so they can be deployed and enter combat the moment they arrive at their destination, according to CCTV.
Displacing nearly 45,000 tonnes, the Chinese rejuvenation can carry around 1,700 passengers and 350 vehicles in a single trip, the ship’s owner Bohai Ferry Group Co Ltd said on its website, claiming the ship was Asia’s largest ro-ro passenger vessel.
The ship departed from an undisclosed port on Thursday evening and arrived at the destination port on Friday morning, which is close to the rail tracks, with temporary rail platforms established, CCTV reported, noting that troops and vehicles can switch seamlessly from ship to rail transport. , which has saved a lot of time and improved transport efficiency.
In August, the PLA used for the first time a civilian ferry with a displacement of more than 10,000 tonnes during maritime maneuvers. At the time, the 73rd PLA Army Group was using the Bohai Pearl ferry, which moves 24,000 tons.
The PLA now practices the use of large integrated military-civilian ferries to transport troops across the sea, and this is because, as much as pure military amphibious landing ships are specially designed to fulfill this purpose, their numbers is limited in relation to the number of civilian ships, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Sunday, on condition of anonymity.
Once the PLA secures the sea lanes, civilian ships can also participate in troop transport missions, and they will ensure that large numbers of troops can be transported to the battlefield, the said. expert.
As tensions mount in the Taiwan Strait, the exercise could serve as a warning to secessionists in Taiwan, observers said.