South China Morning Post reports that the China Maritime Safety Administration has started work on their largest cutter ever, 10,700 tons. That is more than twice the size of the National Security Cutters and if they are using light displacement as is frequently done in Asia, it may be three times as large.
At 165 metres (540 feet) long and 20.6 metres wide, the vessel will weigh in at 10,700 tonnes and be large enough to accommodate several types of helicopters. According to earlier reports it is expected to be completed by September next year.
China’s Maritime Safety Agency was the only one of five Chinese Maritime agencies that did coast guard type work, that was not incorporated into the China Coast Guard. Unlike the China Coast Guard, the Maritime Safety Agency is still a civilian agency. They have a fairly large fleet and their vessels are unarmed.
The Japanese and South Koreans also build large cutters, but not this large.
“APD”! I suspect the Survey Cutter is being used as an APD (i.e. High Speed Transport), to resupply their various Artificial Islands either with actual supplies or with troops…
Attack Transport was my thought on the ultra large China Coast Guard Cutters and I do think their cutters will be used as APDs. This one is, as far as we know, unarmed. It certainly could be pressed into that role, but if that were the primary reason, it would have made more sense to build it for the Coast Guard which is already a military service.
This may have more to do with internal Chinese departmental competition and prestige.
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