Larger amphibious ships, like their new LSD (landing ship dock) are building at a more leisurely pace. In any event, the LSD and LST type ships are also useful for longer range amphibious operations. But the smaller craft have only one target; Taiwan. If there is no invasion attempt against Taiwan, the hundreds of new small amphibious craft can be used for river and coastal shipping operations (which carry a lot of cargo in a country that is still underserved by modern highways and railroads.) But in the meantime, this building program is sending a rather unpleasant message to Taiwan.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Strategy Page has an interesting piece on the "stealth" construction of small but seaworthy (for limited distances) amphibious ships here. Money quote: