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Type 074 medium landing ship
駐港部隊艦艇大隊 - 7593登陸艇.JPG
Type 074 landing ship medium (Yuhai class)
Class overview
Name: Type 074 landing ship medium (Yuhai class)
Builders: Wuhu Shipyard Wuhu, Anhui
Operators:  People's Liberation Army Navy,
 Sri Lanka Navy
Preceded by: Type 079 (Yulian class)
Built: N/A
Completed: 10
Active: 10
General characteristics
Class & type: Yuhai class
Type: Landing Craft Medium
Displacement: (Full load) 800tons
Length: 58.4m
Beam: 10.4m
Draft: 2.7m
Installed power: 4,900hp
Propulsion: Two diesels
Speed: 14 knots
Range: N/A
Capacity: 2 tanks
Troops: 250
Complement: 56
Sensors and
processing systems:
One I-band navigational radar
Armament: 3 Type 61 dual-25mm AAA guns.

The Type 074 landing ship medium (NATO codename: Yuhai class) is a class of medium landing ship (LSM), of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) known by two different names, one of them is Yuhai class and the other is Wuhu-A class. They were built at Wuhu Shipyard of Wuhu, Anhui from 1995 to 2000. Although entering service in the mid-1990s, the origin of Type 074 actually dating almost three decade earlier in the mid-1960s, and Type 074 is the result of experience learned from around half a dozen models earlier.

Type 271I landing craft utility

The origin of Type 074 medium landing ship dates back in 1966, when PLAN proposed to develop a landing craft utility (LCU) based on the experienced gained from Type 067 utility landing craft and Type 068/069 mechanized landing craft (LCM). In addition to wartime mission, this class is tasked to supply islands without port facilities with up to 100 tons of equipment, cargo and freshwater in peacetime. The LCU is designated Type 271, and received NATO reporting name Yupen class, a name used for the rest members of Type 271 LCU series.

Construction of Type 271 LCU begun in Aug 1968 at Qingdao Shipyard in Qingdao, and the boat was completed in June 1970. Sea trials begun in September 1970 in Qingdao, but the result was rather unsatisfactory. Based on these result, redesign work begun immediately with designation as Type 271II, and the unit already built was consequently named as Type 271I, and later converted to later standard, The primary reason for such disappointing result was because the political turmoil in China at the time, namely, the Cultural Revolution.

Type 271II landing craft utility

Type 271II landing craft utility is the direct result of the disappointing performance of the original Type 271 LCU. Redesign work of Type 271II LCU was completed in 1971, and construction begun in December 1972 at Qingdao Shipyard. In September 1975, the ship was launched and on November 30, 1975, this first unit of Type 271III LCU was handed to PLAN and begun trials. As with Type 271I LCU, the program was delayed due to the Cultural Revolution. The pace of trials and testing really picked up in 1976 when the Cultural Revolution ended, and this class finally received certification in 1978 and series production soon started after. Specification:

  • Length: 54 meter
  • Beam: 9.2 meter
  • Draft: 1.7 meter
  • Displacement: 400 ton empty, 500 ton loaded[citation needed]
  • Cargo capacity: 100 ton normal, 150 ton max overload
  • Propulsion: two 6300ZC diesel @ 600 hp each,
  • Speed: 13 kn
  • Range: 1000 nmi @ 10 kn
  • Endurance: 20 days
  • Crew: 36
  • Passenger: 300 fully equipped troops
  • Armament: Type 69 naval twin 14.5 mm MG

Type 271II LCU can carry three medium tanks such as Type 59, or seven 5-ton capacity trucks, or eight 85 mm cannons when used to carry heavy equipment.

Type 271IID landing craft utility

As the first member of Type 271 series LCU, Type 271II LCU was not produced in large numbers because in 1979, PLAN requested minor modification of Type 271II LCU based on experience gained from deployment. The result was Type 271IID LCU, with D stands for Dingxing (定型 in Chinese), meaning finalized design. The first unit of Type 271IID LCU was completed by Changsha Shipyard, and all earlier units were subsequently converted to this standard as Type 271IID went into series production. The modification included the pressure wave plate, anchor and propulsion systems. The displacement is slightly increased to 507 t from the original 500 t of Type 217II LCU.

Type 271III landing craft utility

In November 1984, requirement of Type 271III LCU was issued, but once again, the program was delayed, but this time was not due to political turmoil in China, but instead, the policy change: the economic reform in China had put military program in the backseat. As a result, construction of the first unit did not begun until March 1987 at Changsha Shipyard, and two years later in December 1989, the unit went into service. The primary improvement of Type 271III LCU over Type 271IID is that its propulsion system was German origin (MAN SE), and China license produced it to greatly increase the reliability and service life of engine. The armament and ability to operate in harsh sea state is also improved, while the bow door is changed to V-shaped double door from the original single piece flat piece. Specifications:

  • Length: 58.4 meter
  • Beam: 10.4 meter
  • Draft: 2.28 meter
  • Displacement: 613.7 ton normal, 634 ton fully loaded
  • Propulsion: Two 8L20/27 diesel @ 600 hp each
  • Speed: 16 kn
  • Range: 1000 nmi
  • Endurance: 15 days
  • Crew: 25
  • Max sea state for operation: 8
  • Armament: one Type 65 twin 25 mm AAA, four Type 69 twin 14.5 twin MG

Type 271IIIA landing craft utility

Type 271IIIA landing craft utility is the latest member of Type 271 series LCU. The main difference between Type 271IIIA and Type 271III from which Type 271IIIA is developed from is that the displacement of Type 271IIIA when fully loaded has increased by a third to 800 tons, while the length is slightly reduced to 56.5 meters. Armament was greatly reduced to two Type 69 twin 14.5 mm MG, while speed is also reduced to 1 kn to 15 kn. The number of crew is more than doubled to 56 due to the need to handle more complex machinery. To accommodate the larger size, a pair of more powerful version of Chinese license produced MAN SE 8L20/27 diesel engine have been installed, each with 1142 hp. Typical cargo carrying capacity of Type 271IIIA is either 3 medium tanks plus an infantry platoon of 70 troops, or 7 light amphibious tanks (over load, usually 6 for normal payload), or 200 fully equipped troops. Type 271 II & III series LCU received NATO reporting name Yulü class.

Type 79I landing ship medium

Besides Type 271 LCU, the other origin of the Type 74 LSM is Type 79 series LSM. The origin of Type 79 series LSM dates back in the 1970s, when North Vietnam asked China to produce a landing ship capable of carrying around 200 tons of cargo with maximum speed of 12 kts, but more importantly, the manufacturing technique had to be simply so that it must be able to be built quickly in large numbers.

Design of Type 079 LSM took more than two year, lasting from 1971 to 1973, and construction begun in May 1974 at Guangzhou Shipyard International, and lunched on July 22, 1976. Due to the changes of Sino-Vietnamese relations, the end customer became PLAN instead, and the ship entered PLAN service in October, 1976. This class received NATO reporting name Yulian class. Trials between December 1972 to January 1977 revealed the performance was somewhat satisfactory, but the speed was slow and the ability to operate in bad weather condition is poor. Work immediately begun on redesign named as Type 79II LSM, while the first unit is subsequently named as Type 79I LSM. Specifications:

  • Displacement: 714 ton normal, 730 ton standard, and 833 ton full
  • Length: 60.3 meter
  • Beam: 10 meter
  • Draft: 2.36 meter
  • Range: 1000 nmi @ 10 kn
  • Speed: 12 kn
  • Endurance: 7 days
  • Crew: 36
  • Propulsion: two 6300 diesel engine @ 600 hp each
  • Armament: four Type 61 twin 25 mm AAA
  • Max sea state to operate: 6
  • Cargo capacity: 200 tons, or 5 medium tanks or 8 trucks.

Type 79II landing ship medium

Shortcomings of Type 79I LSM revealed in trials lead to immediate redesign named as Type 79II LSM, which was completed in October 1977, and a total of 31 was built, including the conversion of the sole Type 79I LSM to Type 79II standard. 26 were completed by Guangzhou Shipyard International, and 4 were completed by Xiamen Shipyard. Like its predecessor Type 79I LSM, Type 79II LSM was also designed by 708th Research Institute. The main difference between 79I & 79II is that the latter is larger, with dimensions increased to 72 m x 13.8 m x 2.6 m respectively, and the displacement is increased to 1100 tons. More complex machinery was added, lead to the increase of crew member to 109, more than 3 times of that of the original Type 79I LSM. The speed is also slightly increased to 13 kn. Armament is strengthened by the addition of two BM21 122 mm rocket launchers. Nearly three decades after production ended in 1983, all 30 Type 79II LSM still remain in Chinese service today, mostly in Chinese navy South Sea Fleet (PLAN SSF), though most of them are delegated to transport duties.

Pennant No. Fleet Name
958 PLAN SSF Fen River
961 PLAN SSF Spring River (泉河)
973 PLAN SSF 5 Fingers Mountain(五指山)
974 PLAN SSF Lotus Mountain (莲花山)
975 PLAN SSF Lan River (岚河)
977 PLAN SSF Mount Dingjun
979 PLAN SSF Yi River
980 PLAN SSF Ali Mountain
986 Si River (泗河)

Type 074 landing ship medium

Type 79 series LSM suffers from inherit design flaw in that in order to achieve easy of production so that it could be mass-produced, the hull shape was a very simply flat bottom design, and this is not good for sailing in poor weathers. As a result, PLAN issued a request of upgrade of Type 79 series LSM in the 1990s. However, as study progressed, it was discovered that in order to reach the requirement, major redesign is needed, and the cost would be prohibitive. The alternative is to enlarge the successful Type 271 series LCU to the requirement, and adding the equipment of Type 79 series LSM, and this alternative was accepted, hence Type 74 LSM was borne as a cross between Type 79 series LSM and Type 271 LCU, with the upgraded equipment of the former installed on an enlarged hull of the latter.

This class of landing crafts are capable of making oceanic voyages in moderate sea states. They are used for tactical beach lodgement, and can carry up to 100 tonnes of cargo. Indicative maximum loads include either 2 main battle tanks, or 6 light amphibious tanks, or 350 fully equipped troops. The ships of this class are fitted with three Type 61 dual-25mm antiaircraft artillery guns. Some units are also fitted with Type 81H 122mm multiple rocket launchers. Although on board equipment of Type 74 LSM is derived from that of Type 79, advancement in Chinese technological and industrial capability enabled the adaptation of automation, which significantly reduced the number of crew needed almost by a half, down to 56 from the original 109 of Type 79II LSM. Specification:

  • Displacement: 800 t
  • Length: 58.4 m
  • Beam: 10.4 m
  • Draft: 2.7 m
  • Speed: 14 kt
  • Propulsion: 2 MAN AG diesel engines or its Chinese copy @ 4,900 hp with 2 shafts
  • Complement: 56
  • Lift capacity: 2 main battle tanks plus 250 troops
  • Armament: Two 25 mm guns (II x 1)
  • Radar: One I-band navigational radar


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