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'Hongze Lake' ship, China's first supply ship

By Pan Congqing and Zhang Gang (China Military Online)

08:57, December 24, 2012

The "Hongze Lake" ship (hull number 881) is the earliest large oceangoing comprehensive supply ship of the North China Sea Fleet under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Measuring 180 meters in length with a water displacement of 22,000 tons, it was first named as "Taicang" ship after its commissioning in 1981 and then changed to “Hongze Lake” ship with hull number 881 in July 2002.

The "Hongze Lake" ship is mainly responsible for the accompanying support and replenishment of fuel, drummed lubricants, fresh water, soft water and part of refrigerated foods during its voyage with the oceangoing ship formation. It can carry out three-dimensional replenishment on two sides, at its three supply stations and in the four directions under complex sea conditions, and it is a real "ocean floating supply base".

Since its commissioning, the "Hongze Lake" ship has successively carried out combat-duty-support missions for more than 10 times in the waters of the Nansha Islands, participated in many major exercises and drills including the first joint maritime drill of Chinese and French navies, the first joint maritime drill on non-traditional security of the Chinese and British navies and the first joint maritime drill of the Chinese and Australian navies, and visited 25 countries successively.

The "Hongze Lake" ship set 16 records of the PLA Navy by successfully completing the PLA Navy's first 132-day-long round-the-world navigation with a total voyage of 33,000 nautical miles from May to September of 2002, and passing through the Panama Canal for the first time.

Due to its outstanding performance in various joint maritime drills of the PLA navy and foreign navies, the "Hongze Lake" ship is hailed as "China's first supply ship".

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