Chinese PLA Navy Deploys Icebreaker Haibing for 84th Ice Survey Mission

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has deployed Type 272 icebreaker Haibing (722) to the Bohai Sea and the northern waters of the Yellow Sea to perform the 84th ice survey mission on January 25, the military said in a statement.

The icebreaker Haibing will conduct survey in 28 points in the waters of the Bohai Sea and the northern part of the Yellow Sea, with a total voyage exceeding 1,000 nautical miles for more than 100 hours. The survey is being carried out in order to obtain real-time data on maritime ice conditions and support the winter icebreaking and disaster relief work.

Besides obtaining hydrological and meteorological data, the icebreaker will also carry out navigation training in complex sea conditions and sea area transferring training.

The ice survey mission became necessary as the ice conditions in the Bohai Sea and the northern part of the Yellow Sea are deteriorating due to the cold front. As a result, maritime shipping, aquaculture and offshore oil and gas development have all been greatly affected.

Haibing (722)(meaning Sea Ice in Chinese) is the lead ship of domestically-built Type 272-class of icebreakers operated by the PLA Navy. Type 272 has more advanced design features in comparison to earlier Chinese icebreakers (such as Type 272’s predecessor, the Type 210), such as the incorporation of multifunction displays, and it can withstand wind scale of 12 when sailing.

Haibing is 337 feet long, 60 feet wide, and displaces 4,860 tons when fully loaded. It has a range of 7,000 miles and is capable of carrying a large helicopter such as the Chinese Changhe Z-8 (derived from French AĆ©rospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon).

The vessel was laid down in November 2013, launched in March 2015 and entered active military service on January 1, 2016. The primary mission of Haibing is ice condition investigation, ice breaking and maritime search and rescue in ice zones in the waters of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea.

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