China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has commissioned its first Type 901 fast combat support ship (AOE) Hulunhu (965) on September 1.
The ceremony was presided over by Navy commander, Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong.
Feng Danyu, Navy deputy commander; Wang Hai, Southern theater naval commander; Zhang Wendan, Northern theater naval commander; Officers from the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, China Shipbuilding Industry Group and other military officers and soldiers has attended the ceremony.
Type 901 is estimated to have a 45,000-ton displacement and a beam of 31.5 metres. The ship is powered by four QC280 gas turbines, each delivering 28 MW, for a maximum speed of about 25 knots; the speed is necessary to keep up with carriers.
Type 901 is fitted with 5x wet cargo transfer stations (3 on the port side) for fuel and water, as well as and 2x dry cargo stations which are comparable with the next class of American supply vessel, the T-AO(X) displacing 50,000 tons.
The Type 901 is significantly larger and faster than the preceding Type 903A Qiandaohu-class ( (NATO: Fuchi) replenishment ship. The vessel appears to be heavily based on the U.S. Navy’s Supply-class fast combat support ship.
The Type 901 was launched in December 2015 at the Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) yard at Longxue Island on the Pearl River, and the ship commenced sea trials in December 2016.
The ship has conducted replenishment-at-sea (RAS) trials with a Yuzhao-class (Type 071) landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious ship in waters of the South China Sea earlier this year.
The second ship of the class was launched in July this year and is currently being fitted out at the Guangzhou Shipyard.