The amphibious dock landing ships Changbaishan (Hull 989, R) and Wuzhishan (Hull 987, L) attached to a landing ship flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam in formation in waters of the South China Sea during a three-dimensional amphibious landing operation from May 29 to June 3, 2019. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn
The naval wing of the People’s Liberation Army conducted a drill using a civilian ship to supply warships, which is seen as a new approach to facilitate warship supplies in distant waters.
Civilian ship Fuzhou sailed in parallel and replenished two navy vessels via cable wires, which marks the maiden use of a civil ship to supply warships, Shanghai-based news portal The Paper reported on Saturday.
The Naval Research Institute and the Navy of Northern Theater Command co-developed a module to complete the supply. The module is electricity-driven with large power storage, highly integrated and compatible with different types of vessels, which can easily be installed on civilian ships.
The use of civilian ships to carry out dry cargo replenishment for naval vessels is a new attempt amid the growing strength of the PLA Navy. Offshore missions in distant waters have gradually increased, making the demand for maritime logistics support increasingly prominent.
China has large amounts of civilian ships on a wide range of navigation routes. Installing the replenishment module on them has great potential in strengthening marine replenishment capabilities and the military and economic benefits are remarkable.