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Chinese Carrier-On-Land Facility Adds Destroyer

Recent Google Earth imagery of the carrier-on-land facility in Wuhan, China with the addition of a Type-55 guided missile destroyer mock-up. Google Earth Image.

Recent Google Earth imagery of the carrier-on-land facility in Wuhan, China with the addition of a Type-55 guided missile destroyer mock-up. Google Earth Image.

China has made several additions to its so-called carrier-on-land facility, including a mock-up of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) planned next generation guided missile destroyer, according to recent satellite imagery.

The January pictures show the mock-up of the planned Type-55 guided missile destroyer – that will likely be a test bed for a new radar system – has been completed as well as the addition to unknown building on the grounds.

The Type-55 mock-up in Wuhan, first reported last year, is thought to be China’s answer to a lack of anti-air warfare capability in its current guided missile fleet. Reports indicate China may have already begun construction on the first ship in the class.

“The [Type-55] is expected to be about 10,000-12,000 [tons], with more vertical launch missile silos than the Type 052D [Luyang III],” according to a December report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

China fielded its first Luyang III guided missile destroyer in March with a Type 346 Dragon Eye radar and 64 VLS tubes and recently commissioned its last Type 52C destroyer.

An image of the Type-55 mock-up under construction.

An undated image of the Type-55 mock-up under construction.

Both mock-ups at the China Ship Design and Research Center, or 701 Institute of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, according to Jane’s. The sites are almost certainly test sites for new Chinese radar capabilities, like the so-called U.S. “cruiser in the cornfield,” SPY-1D radar facility at the Vice Adm. James H. Doyle Combat Systems Engineering Development Site in New Jersey.

The carrier-on-land itself – widely known since 2009 – made a stir this month in China after new Google Earth pictures made the rounds on domestic online networks, prompting a response from the PLA-backed China Military Online.

“China’s ‘carrier on land’ recently exposed by the Google earth photo is not new. The only difference is that a suspected model of 055 is added,” read a posting last week.
“The media of western countries had also mistaken a cement carrier located in the suburb of Shanghai for a ‘carrier on land’ with military use. Actually, it was a military theme park.”

  • A Jesuit

    plywood welded sheets of metal maybe some concrete modeling R+D reminds one of Recruit Training ship board operations ship board firefighter drill…RTC Training San Diego …. Once had a teacher in Freemantle who built a concrete boat in his front drive way. Wanted to run charter cruises for a living Yelp concrete floats Scientia et Tridents GOOOOOOOOOOO NAVY

  • Secundius

    Unless the Mock-Up Carrier Fight Deck is gimballed to resemble actual sea conditions. They might as well do it on a regular military airfield…

  • Jim Valle

    As they move to assert “great power status” it appears that China is thinking about its need to embrace Nineteenth Century concepts of sea power. Wilhelmine Germany built its High Seas Fleet primarily to dominate the Baltic and challenge Britain in the North Sea with small squadrons of cruisers stationed overseas to assert claims to its overseas empire. It was ultimately a very expensive failure, a lesson that the Chinese seem to have missed. I imagine that China expects eventually to dominate the South China Sea area and the Sea of Japan while sending naval assets to defend its links with Africa and the Persian Gulf. For this they need to duplicate the US Navy’s carrier battle groups? Perhaps they should heed the lessons of the Twentieth Century, namely that its much cheaper to just trade peacefully and very risky to try and take what you want by force.

    • Secundius

      @ Jim Valle.

      China want’s to be the New Kid On the Block, and doesn’t realize that all the other kids and actually Adults…

  • Secundius

    Maybe China should get together with Iran and have a Aircraft Carrier Cut-Out Competition…

  • Secundius

    Maybe it a New way of fighting a war, Without actually having war. Bluff your opponent into submission. After all, it’s mush Cheaper, Easier and Faster to build FAKE ships then actually to build REAL ships.

    • Eric

      Quaker Guns.

  • disqus_89uuCprLIv

    I presume Chinese “Black Shoe” officers will learn station-keeping on the mock-up?