TechChinese amphibious ship's smoke screen test under scrutiny

Chinese amphibious ship's smoke screen test under scrutiny

Smoke screen on the ship
Smoke screen on the ship
Images source: © X | OSINT Defender
6:36 PM EST, November 24, 2023

A thick cloud of smoke was seen enveloping the amphibious transport dock Longhu Shan (980) off the South China Sea coast. This was not the result of a fire onboard, but a test of a technique that the Russians have recently employed.

It's "a test of the ship’s smoke screen which would be used during amphibious operations," reported OSINT Defender on platform X. The ship, which belongs to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, did not experience any malfunction that could have resulted in a fire.

Smoke generators form part of the defensive system against enemy assets, primarily missiles and kamikaze drones. The vast smoke clouds hinder these threats from reaching their target. Aircrafts and missiles struggle to detect and neutralize a ship hidden beneath these clouds.

However, according to OSINT Defender, the system test "did not go too well". The problem mainly results from the two smoke generators' placement - at the ship's front and back - being too far from the unit's central point. Consequently, the smoke did not cover a large enough area to sufficiently safeguard the ship at sea. Furthermore, the smoke's color indicates the Chinese "are probably burning something quite noxious".

Earlier this year, the Russians also used the strategy of camouflaging with a smoke screen. Dense clouds of smoke were spotted on the Crimean Bridge, generated by devices mounted on TDA-3 trucks. These machines, weighing nearly 16 tons, can carry several thousand liters of a mix used to create a smoke screen.

Speaking of the Chinese ship observed recently testing its new tool, it's a type 071E landing ship measuring 689 ft in length and capable of accelerating up to speeds of 25 knots (approximately 58 mph). The Longhu Shan can accommodate 60 armored combat vehicles and up to 800 assault soldiers.

The ship is primarily armed with one AK-176 caliber 76mm gun and four AK-630 caliber 30mm guns. Installations of up to four heavy machine guns are also possible.

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