Taiwan shipbuilder CSBC launches the 1st indigenous LPD

Photo courtesy of CNA

China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) held the naming and launching ceremony of the Taiwanese Navy’s first indigenous landing platform dock (LPD) in the Kao-hsiung Harbor on 13th April. The event hosted VIP participants, including the President, Defence Minister, Chief of Staff, and other senior officers.

The new LPD was named Yu shan and expected to enter service for the ROC Navy in the first half of 2022, replacing the Taiwanese Navy’s only amphibious transport dock, the ROCS Hsu Hai, which has been in service for 50 years and was formerly named the USS Pensacola.

“The launch of Taiwan’s first domestically made landing platform dock (LPD) marks a milestone in the country’s shipbuilding history and will significantly boost the Navy’s capability”, said President Tsai Ing-wen during the ceremony.

“With the imminent deployment of the LPD, the nation’s defense capabilities will be boosted, as the ROC Navy’s operations will be enhanced,” the president added.

LPD Yu Shan (Credit:CNA)

The new LPD will boost the force projection capabilities of the ROC Navy

The ship has a total length of 153 meters, an overall beam of 23 meters, a hull draught of 6 meters, and a full-load displacement of 10,600 tons. The vessel’s main task will be amphibious operations: Serve as the primary unit in an amphibious task force to carry out amphibious combat missions or perform recovery operations on Taiwan’s outer (offshore) islands and serve as a maritime mobile field hospital. Secondary roles include disaster relief (the vessel can serve as a temporary field hospital) and international humanitarian relief.

Taiwan has been boosting its domestic military industries, including building ships and submarines, and is upgrading facilities on the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea that China also claims. Along with Taiwan’s main island, the government controls territory close to China, including the Kinmen, Matsu, and Pescadores island groups that need constant replenishment.