The Type 072-III (Yuting-II class) is the most capable amphibious warfare ship in service with the PLA Navy.
The Type 072-III (NATO codename: Yuting-II class) is the follow-on of the Type 072-II (Yuting-I class) large landing ship initially introduced in the 1990s. The Type 072-III features a redesigned concealed bridge, and possibly enhanced sealift capability. Two ships built by Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard were commissioned in 2004, with additional two built by Dalian-based Dalian Shipyard commissioned in 2005. A total of seven ships have been identified by 2005.
Two new LST type large landing ships were first spotted in Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Summer 2003. These ships were later identified to be the improved variant of the Type 072-II (Yuting-I class), known as Type 072-III (Yuting-II class). Two additional ships of the same type were spotted under construction in Dalian Shipyard in early 2004. By 2005 at least seven ships of this class have been spotted either in service or under construction, increasing the total number of the large LST in service with the PLA Navy to 25.
The first two ships of the class was initially spotted under construction at Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in summer 2003. Later an additional two ships were seen in Dalian Shipyard. It is believed that at least 7 ships have already been built, with more expected to come in the future.
Compared to the previous Type 072 series (Yukan and Yuting-I class), the Type 072-III carries less firepower, but is larger and more modernised. The full displacement of the ship is estimated to be 5,000t, capable of carrying 250 troops and 10 tanks. These ships together with the Yuting-I and Yukan class will provide key sealift and amphibious landing capabilities for the PLA Navy in the coming decade. However, as the WWII-style tank landing ships are generally regarded as outdated, the PLA Navy may wish to seek more advanced and efficient amphibious assault ships (LHA/LHD) and dock landing ships (LSD/LPD) in the future.
The new Yuting-II is believed to be larger and more modernised compared to the previous Yuting-I class.
7 ships spotted so far: 911, 912, 913, 992, 993, 995, 996
The Type 072-III is generally similar to the Yuting-I and Yukan class in hull design and layout. The original open-top bridge on the Yuting-I class has been replaced by a redesigned fully concealed bridge on the Type 072-III. On the Yuting-I class there are two corridors on each side of the bridge to enable troops move between the main front deck and the stern helicopter deck, but these are replaced by a tunnel under the bridge on the Type 072-III.
The ship carries only one Type 76F dual-37mm antiaircraft artillery (AAA) gun located on the bow deck. By comparison the Yuting-I class has three guns. Point air defence may also be provided by using should-launched air defence missiles.
The Yuting-II class carries only one Type 76F dual-37mm antiaircraft artillery (AAA) gun located on the bow deck. By comparison the Yuting-I class has three guns.
The ship has a stern helicopter flight deck specious enough for a large helicopter such as Jingdezhen Z-8 to take-off and land. There is no helicopter hanger provided.