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Chinese Navy ships visit Rotterdam, 28 January 2015

On January 26th, three of the newest ships of the China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) South Sea Fleet arrived in Rotterdam harbour for a one-week visit. The reason for the visit is to enhance understanding between PLAN and West-European Navy’s. Before visiting Rotterdam, they already visited the German ports Kiel and Hamburg, and Porthmouth, UK where they started their West-European tour.


The lead ship is the PLANS Changbaishan LSD-989, a Type 071 amphibious transport dock of the Yuzhao class, commissioned in 2012. This huge ship was accompanied by PLANS Chaohu AOR-890, a Type 903 replenishment ship of the Funchi class, commissioned in 2013, and the PLANS Yuncheng FFG-571, a Type 054A frigate of the Jiangkai II class, commissioned in 2010. These three ships are part of the 18th Escort Task Group and left Zhanjiang naval port on March 25th 2014 to set sail to the Gulf of Aden. For four months the task group took part in the anti-piracy operations together with other Navy’s from around the world. On December 26th the 19th Escort Task Group took over the operation.


On board the PLANS Changbaishan were two Changhe Z-8 helicopters, the Chinese version of the French designed SA.321 Super Frelon. The PLAN still has approximately 35 Super Frelons in active service, including fifteen SA.321’s acquired from France in the late 70’s. On board the PLANS Yuncheng was a Harbin Z-9 Haitun helicopter, the Chinese version of the French designed AS.365 Dauphin. The first Harbin Z-9 entered service with the PLAN in 1993, nowadays the PLAN has approximately 25 of these helicopters in use. The helicopters on board these ship belong to the 9th Division / 26th Regiment.


On January 28th, we visited these Chinese ships in Rotterdam harbour as they laid out at the Holland Amerikakade (quay). On this day, the ship were opened for public, which was the perfect opportunity to see these rare helicopters. The weather was very grey and windy that day, but despite that we were able to take some nice shots of the helicopters parked on board. Many thanks go out to the very friendly men and women of the China's People's Liberation Army Navy, who made this an unforgettable day.





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