Type 073 medium landing ship

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Type 073 medium landing ship
Class overview
Subclasses: Type 073I, Type 073II, Type 073IIY, Type 073III
General characteristics Type 073I
Type: Landing ship medium
Displacement: 850 tons
Length: 69 m (226 ft)
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft)
Installed power: 2 × D-39 diesel at 1,617.6 kW (2,169.2 hp)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 1,200 nmi (2,200 km; 1,400 mi)
Complement: 75
Armament: 2 × Type 61 twin 37 mm AAA
2 × Type 61 twin 25 mm AAA
General characteristics Type 073II
Type: Landing ship medium
Displacement: 1040 tons
Length: 77.4 m (254 ft)
Beam: 10.4 m (34 ft)
Draft: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Installed power: Diesel engines
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 60
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 Soviet Fine Curve navigational radar
Armament: 2 × Type 61 twin 37 mm AAA
2 × Type 61 twin 25 mm AAA
General characteristics Type 073IIY
Type: Landing ship medium
Displacement: 1100 tons
Length: 79 m (259 ft)
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft)
Draft: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range: 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi)
Endurance: 7 days
Capacity: 4 × medium tanks and one platoon or
6 × amphibious tanks and one platoon or
300 tons of cargo or
several dozen large mines
Complement: 106
Armament: 2 × Type 61 twin 37 mm AAA
General characteristics Type 073III
Type: Landing ship medium
Displacement: 1460 tons normal, 1850 tons full
Length: 87 m (285 ft)
Beam: 12.6 m (41 ft)
Draft: 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in)
Installed power: 2 × 6PA6L-380 diesel engines at 3,540 kW (4,750 hp) each
Propulsion: 2 shaft
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Range: 1,500 nmi (2,800 km; 1,700 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Capacity: 250 tons or
5 × medium tanks or
10 × amphibious light tanks or
500 fully equipped troops
Complement: 74
Armament: 2 × Type 76 twin 37 mm AAA
Type 81H 122 mm rockets

The Type 073 landing ship medium is a class of landing ship medium (LSM) of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) consisted of several models. One of this class was exported to Sri Lanka.

Type 073I landing ship medium[edit]

Requirement of Type 073 medium landing ship was finalized in May 1965, and design work by Shanghai-based 708th Research Institute completed just 4 months later in September 1965. Preparation to build this class was completed in October 1966, and construction begun a month later in November 1966. Due to political turmoil in China at the time, namely, Cultural Revolution, it was not until almost three years later in August 1969 when the ship was launched. From November 1969 thru December 1969, extensive trials were conducted and the ship was handed over to PLAN in December 1969 for further tests. In 1970 more tests were conducted with more than 7,000 km (3,800 nmi; 4,300 mi) logged, and the longest trip was from Chongqing to Dalian.

However, trials revealed that the vibration was too great at high speed, and Type 073 LSM did not enter production. Redesign work designated as Type 073II immediately started after the trials of the first unit ended, and the first unit entered PLAN service with pennant number 904 was subsequently designated as Type 073I, and was later ordered to be converted to Type 073II standard. Due to the political turmoil at the time, conversion was not completed until 1975.

Type 073II landing ship medium[edit]

Shortcomings of Type 073I exposed in trials caused a crush program to rework and redesign at Dalian Shipyard, but due to political turmoil in China at the time, it was not sufficient enough to correct the problem completely. Shipyard # 9308 in Anhui petitioned the 6th Machinery Industrial Ministry and Anhui provincial Defense Industrial Office to construct Type 73II LSM in 1975, which was approved in April 1976, with orders for 3 ships. Construction of the first Type 073II LSM at Shipyard # 9308 begun five months later in September 1976, and it was launched in June 1978. From 1978 to 1979, extensive trials were conducted and the ship was handed over to PLAN in early 1980, with pennant number East Transport 757 (East Transport = Dong Yun 东运 in Chinese), meaning Transport 757 of East Sea Fleet of PLAN. This unit was later reassigned as # 937.

The primary difference between Type 073I and Type 073II is in the engine. Additional balance weight was added to the diesel engine which solved the vibration problem, but the reliability issue of the engine remain unsolved, and as a result, Type 073II did not enter mass production, just like its predecessor Type 073I.

Type 073IIY landing ship medium[edit]

As the mass production plan for Type 073II was cancelled due to reliability problem of its engine, Shipyard # 9308 begun to modify the remaining two units that were already being built, which was successfully completed in September 1985. The resulting type is Type 073IIY, with Y for Yun (运), meaning transport in Chinese. Type 073I, Type 073II, and Type 073IIY all received the NATO reporting name Yudao class. A total of two units of Type 073IIY were completed, with pennant # Dongyun 800 (later renamed as # 938 Lüliang Mountains) and Dongyun 801. The primary difference between Type 073II and Type 073 IIY includes more than 100 upgrades in addition to engine improvement.

Type 073III landing ship medium[edit]

The reliability problem of the engine of Type 073 series was not completely solved until the appearance of Type 073III LSM, with NATO reporting name Yudeng class. The D-39 engine that is reliable only at slower speed was replaced by a new engine that is reliable at all speeds, and displacement is also increased. Only one unit entered service, with pennant # 990 in 1991.

After the completion of the first unit (pennant # 990), it takes a decade for more units to follow, and 10 more entered service between 2001 through 2002. These later units are lightly larger in displacement at 2000 tons, and more advanced equipment, mainly in electronics and on board machinery. This latest batch is referred by some internet sources as Type 073 IV is known as Yunshu, but such claim has yet to be verified by official / governmental sources.