Military Photo: The PLA (Chinese Army) Officers Handbook


Posted: 11/01/2005

A page from the handbook, with a quick translation of the text.

While not much is published about the actual capabilities of Chinese amphibious shipping, there is one source available; the PLA Officers Handbook. This reference, which all PLA officers have to purchase, is, of course written in Chinese. But this handbook is not classified and is sold quite openly. This is a custom the Chinese picked up from the Russians. The Handbook gives the technical details of Chinese amphibious shipping, so that officers can calculate what can be carried in each type of ship. The Chinese LSTs (landing ship, tank) can carry 2,000 tons, versus the 800 ton figure usually given by Western analysts. The Type 067 landing craft is described in rather alarming terms, if your are a Taiwanese general. The Handbook gives the Type 067 a capacity of 50 tons, a range of 800 kilometers, endurance of ten days at sea, and the ability to operate in rough water while using its own navigation system. There are actually three different Type 067s, the first version began building in the 1970s. There are about 130 of these. The second version, of which 300 are available is substantially the same. But the third version, which began building in the late 1990s, is still being built. A scaled up version of the Type 067, the Type 271, can carry the latest, heavier (50 ton) Chinese tanks. The Handbook also refers to hundreds of commercial ferries and barges that can be used for amphibious operations against Taiwan, and describes how they would be loaded with military equipment. The Handbook indicates that there is sufficient lift for 250 infantry and mechanized (tank and mechanized infantry) battalions. That�s about twenty divisions. There is additional shipping (mostly civilian) for moving support units. Note that the Handbook is not a piece of propaganda, but a practical manual describing how the Chinese would go about making war.


Photograph and translation by Xinhui �Andy� Chan

First photo, 50 tons steel motor transporter

LCM is �da far� large motorboat. So called 14 meters special transport ship.
Small far is small motor boat, 10 meters. 35 personal and 30 to 40 horsepower, all 9 to 20 tons.

Second photo is to the left Japanese Da Far, third photo is type 55.

50 ton steel motor transport ship.
Jiangnan SY build 2 50tons motor transport Junk in 1953, then changed to steel haul.
It is consider landing transport ship, later mod as Water transport, oil transport, transportation transport. Number in the hundreds.

907 tone soviet type motor barge

Dalian built 124 copies in 1954, all exported to Soviet Unit, 113.4 tone

907B, 50 tone motor barge
so called Type 50 small landing craft, building started in 1962 at Dalian, 81 total.

Type 55, 15 tone small landing craft.
Type 55 is the design code name, 363 is the blue print code name.
First prototype tested by Jiangnan SY in 1955. 15 tones load. 60 landing troops.
Asked to transfer the manufacturing to a different SY, Dalian started production in 62, QingDao SY build a total of 10 copies.

363A small landing craft. Build in Dalian 1955, blue print code name 363A. 63 Tones, first batch 52 copies.
Guangzhou SY built 67 copies.
363A Mod. Build in Dalian in 1963 as the second batch, a total of 18 copies
Support Vietnam Ship: A363 export model, Guangzhou Support Vietnam Ship, 11 copies

Type 067 50 tones Tank Landing Ship.
Design code name type 067.
Formal designation: Type 64 50 tones transport landing ship. Used 3D6 engine.
Type 64A tank landing ship.
Production type used 12V120 engine at Zhonghua SY. Production moved to HongZhou SY, 930 SY, Qinghuang Dao SY. Print code changed to Type 63A4.

067 I type 36 tones small tank landing ship
first ship build in Nov 1965. Aug 1966, Zhonghua SY built their first copy of 067 I
4 copies of Type 067 I converted into waterline repair ship. 8 copies modified as ocean landing ship.
From 1964 to 1971, a total of 130 copies of 067 and 067 I were build

067 II 36 tone small tank landing ship.
Formal designation: Type 68 small landing ship. Factory code: Type 068 landing ship
In 1978, type 68 was added 19 round 130mm MRL.
First copy was build in Dec 1967. 19689 to 1971, Zhonghua SY built 51 copies.
GuangZhou SY built 25 copies, a total of this type over 300.

067 III type 60 tones small landing ship.
2nd generation production. Production hand over to 7815 SY.
HongZhou SY research production in 1997.

Picture of N2025, reads 068 production continues, but changed the search radar.

Type 271 100 ton Oil, water, cargo common landing craft.
First built in Qingdao SY, failed to contain oil, 1 copy
Production run 25 copies, of which 16 were build in Qingdao.
Changed engine. First build in Qingdao, 1 copy.
27 IIID type 100 tones water, cargo landing ship.
Small production run at Qingdao SY, formal designation: Type 271 100tones landing ship, short name is Type 271 type landing ship)

271 IIG
Changsha SY built 3 copies

271 IIX
Northern ship type, never built

271 III A type 150tones landing ship
Changsha SY handover first copy in 1989.
Number of SY build this type of ship afterward, such as 7814, 7817, etc
There is a Type 271 II ST improved type.

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