August 04, 2021

China reportedly converted civilian ferries for amphibious assault operations

Source: Defense News

Journalist: Mike Yeo

China has converted civilian ferries for use in military amphibious operations, potentially enabling the country to significantly surge its amphibious assault capabilities in a contingency like a Taiwan invasion, according to a new report.

The July report was published in the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief by Conor Kennedy, an instructor at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute. The report said that since 2019, the roll-on/roll-off ferry Bang Chui Dao, a 15,560-ton vessel owned and operated by COSCO Shipping Ferry Company, has been fitted with a modified ramp able to launch and recover amphibious armored vehicles while offshore.

This capability means the ship can launch and recover vehicles without dedicated port facilities. This is in contrast to typical RO/RO vessels, which have straight hydraulic ramps for vehicles to drive on or off while ships are in port.

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  • Tom Shugart

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Thomas Shugart is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on undersea warfare and maritime com...