VESSEL REVIEW | Chang – Helicopter-capable landing ship for Royal Thai Navy

VESSEL REVIEW | Chang – Helicopter-capable landing ship for Royal Thai Navy

Photo: Royal Thai Navy

The Royal Thai Navy recently commissioned a new landing platform dock (LPD) into service.

The third Royal Thai Navy ship to be named after Chang Island in Thailand’s Trat Province, HTMS Chang is a variant of the Type 071 LPD originally built by China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. This acquisition makes the Royal Thai Navy the first overseas customer for the Type 071 helicopter-capable LPD. Chang is therefore the first and so far only example of the Type 071E variant, the “E” denoting “export.”

Photo: Royal Thai Navy

Chang has a length of 213 metres, a beam of 28 metres, a draught of seven metres, a displacement of 25,000 tonnes at full load, and a propulsion system that can deliver a maximum speed of 25 knots and a range of 10,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots. The LPD’s dimensions also make it the largest active ship in the Royal Thai Navy, a distinction previously held by the 182-metre, 11,400-tonne aircraft carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet.

The ship can embark up to 800 troops, various conventional and air-cushion landing craft via its well deck and side davits, 60 armoured fighting vehicles, and four transport/utility helicopters. As with the Type 071 ships on which it is based, it may also support counter-piracy, humanitarian and disaster response (HADR), and search and rescue (SAR) missions.

As it will be deployed primarily for amphibious operations, the LPD is limited to having only defensive armament consisting of a 76mm naval gun, four 30mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for use against anti-ship missiles and low-flying aircraft, and mounts for four machine guns of 12.7mm calibre or higher. Four 18-tube launchers will deploy chaff and decoys to provide additional protection against missiles.

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HTMS Chang
Type of vessel: Landing platform dock
Flag: Thailand
Owner: Royal Thai Navy
Builder: Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, China
Length overall: 213 metres
Beam: 28 metres
Draught: 7.0 metres
Displacement: 25,000 tonnes
Capacity: 60 vehicles; 4 helicopters
Maximum speed: 25 knots
Cruising speed: 18 knots
Range: 10,000 nautical miles
Armaments: 76mm naval gun; 30mm close-in weapon systems; 12.7mm machine guns
Other equipment installed: Chaff/decoy launchers

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