|The Type 925 (NATO codename: Dajiang class) is the ocean salvage & rescue ship built in the early 1970s to support China’s first full-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. Under the Project 718 shipbuilding programme, Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard was requested to build three different types of ships, including two Yuanwang class missile/spacecraft tracking ships, a Type 643 multi-purpose oceanographic survey ship (Xiangyanghong 10), and two Type 925 ocean salvage & rescue ships. |
The Type 925 is a large multi-purpose salvage & rescue ship capable of operating in deep oceans far from its base. The ship can serve both as submarine tender and salvage/rescue ship. The ship carries 1~2 deep submergence rescue vehicles (DSRV), handled by the large crane located on the bow deck. It was also the first PLA Navy ship to be fitted with helicopter hanger and flight deck as standard, capable of accommodating two Z-8/SA 321Ja Super Frelon helicopters.
Two hulls (J302 and J121) were initially constructed in the late 1970s. J121 Changxingdao was assigned to the North Sea Fleet, and J302 Chongmingdao was assigned to the East Sea Fleet. Both ships took part in the Chinese naval task force to the South Pacific to recover the re-entry vehicle of China’s first full-range DF-5 ICBM test in May 1980. In November 1984, J121 Changxingdao participated another expedition mission along with Xiangyanghong 10 to send Chinese scientists to Antarctica to establish China’s first research station there.
The third hull J506 Yongxingdao was commissioned by the South Sea Fleet possibly in the mid-1980s. The ship differs to the previous two hulls in that it has a large mast on the bow deck and a large sphere radome on the rear mast, both used to mount electronic equipments for unknown purpose. The ship was part of the naval rescue task forces standing by in the West Pacific during the launches of China’s Shenzhou manned spaceflight mission in 2003 and 2005.