Replenishment in the Chinese Navy

The Chinese fleet Guang Hua Kou adopted a new semi-submersible vessel “Zhenhua 33”, which was certified for use both for military and civil purposes. According to the portal of China Military, this is the first ship of this class in China’s arsenal. The design and construction of “Zhenhua 33” took two years and three months. Now it is a part of the semi-submersible heavy lift ships.

Usually, military vessels and ships are not intended for civilian use, for example, for the transportation of passengers or cargoes. In emergency situations, the armed forces sometimes provide their equipment to civilian services, but in normal life, such use of ships is prohibited.

The new Chinese semi-submersible vessel can be used as a floating workshop for light and medium repair of warships, and as a marine helicopter aerodrome. For civilian purposes, the ship will be able to transport elements of drilling platforms or ordinary cargo. The weight of goods carried can reach ten thousand tons.


The length of “Zhenhua 33” is 227 meters, water displacement – 50 tons. The vessel is equipped with a deck of 7.7 thousand square meters. It can speed up to 14 knots and its range is 18 thousand nautical miles.

Loading of cargoes onto the ship is carried out by means of partial submersion under water. During this operation, “Zhenhua 33” gets seawater into the ballast tanks and is submerged to a depth of 27 meters. At this time, with the help of tugs, the cargo is placed on the water above the deck, after which a semi-submerged vessel emerges. Unloading is carried out in the reverse order.

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In accordance with the requirements of the Maritime Register of Shipping, under whose supervision the vessel is being constructed, before construction of the test, construction certificates must be closed confirming the readiness of the systems and mechanisms. Most of them are already operating in normal mode.

It should be noted that semi-submersible vessels are increasingly used in China. So, in December last year, the Chinese company COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers received the world’s largest semi-submersible vessel “Xin Guang Hua” with a length of 255 meters and a width of 68 meters. This vessel is used to transport sections of drilling platforms.