The Type 081, called the Xisha class in China, is a family of large amphibious warfare vessels designed to support efforts to create a blue water navy. Upon completion, it will be the largest such vessels operated by an Asian country, larger even than the Korean Dokdo. According to USN hull codes, it is a landing helicopter dock (LHD), placing it in the same class as vessels such as the Mistral and Juan Carlos I.
Essentially a light aircraft carrier masquerading as a helicopter destroyer in Japanese parlance, the Xisha is intended to be a larger and more capable version of the Yuzhao (Type 071) class. While the Yuzhao is limited to four helicopters, and typically only carries two, the Xisha will have the capacity to support eighteen. While the Yuzhao can only carry 20 armored vehicles under ideal conditions, the Xisha will carry at least 40 — and it will carry substantially more unarmored vehicles. It will also carry four Jingsah II class hovercraft, as many as the Type 071, and more than most comparable foreign vessels.
As with the larger LHDs operated by foreign forces, the Xisha will have the capability to deploy VTOL-capable fighters. Additionally, it is expected that any future STOVL aircraft prove compatible with the design. The design, however, is not compatible with STOL aircraft, and would require the addition of a ski jump to function.
In terms of size, the Xisha will be the largest LHD operated outside of the United States. It will possess the same length as the Japanese “helicopter destroyer” while simultaneously being significantly heavier. It will also possess substantially increased payload relative to vessels like the Dokdo, which weigh substantially less.
- Displacement: 25,000 tonnes empty, 32,500 tonnes full
- Length: 250m
- Beam: 34m
- Draught: 7m
- Propulsion: CODAG
- Speed: 18kt (cruise), 32kt (full), 36kt (flank)
- Range: 9,000 nautical miles at 18 knots
- Boats and landing craft carried: 4x Jingsah II class LCAC or 12x Yupen class LCM
- Capacity: 1,250 embarked infantry with up to 48 amphibious armored vehicles (ie, ZBD-05 family)
- Complement: 450 (incl. 180 air crew)
– 4x Type 1030 CIWS
– 2x 18-cell FL-3000N (36 ready-to-fire missiles, 108 total)
- Aircraft carried: 48 helicopter tokens