Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration signed a contract for China's first 10,000 ton-class maritime patrol vessel on Tuesday, which experts said could sail the high seas and provide assistance to Chinese and foreign ships in need.
Under the contract, the ship will be constructed by Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company under China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited, according to a statement the company released on Tuesday.
Designed by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation's No.701 Research Institute, the ship will be 165 meters long and 20.6 meters wide and have a displacement of 10,700 tons, according to the statement.
The ship will become China's first 10,000-ton class maritime patrol vessel and act as the country's flagship for high seas patrol and rescue operations, serving China's strategy of becoming a major ocean power, the statement said.
South China's Guangdong Province is an important starting point and a coastal hub of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The large maritime patrol vessel could play a significant role as Guangdong will face more and more maritime tasks as the BRI develops, Li said.
Missions for the ship will include comprehensive law enforcement, emergency search and rescue, ensuring navigation safety of other vessels, taking part in international maritime exchanges and cooperation and conducting maritime-related trainings, the statement said.
As a large ship it can carry more sailors, personnel and equipment and sail in rough seas, Li said, noting that it can also carry out longer missions and sail further distances than smaller patrol vessels.
The ship could have a crew of 100, accommodate 200 people rescued and host multiple types of helicopters, files show.
Li said the ship will not only rescue Chinese ships in peril, but also help foreign ones in need.
The vessel should be delivered within two and a half years, according to a procurement notice released by Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration in April 2018.
China is experienced with ships of a similar caliber, as the China Coast Guard already has two 10,000-ton class cutters, Li said.