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First Chinese-built Carrier Returns from Successful Sea Trials

Chinese Type-001A carrier returned to port after a week of sea trials. Xinhua Photo

China’s first domestically built carrier has returned from its first set of sea trials last week, according to photos released by Chinese state media.

The yet-unnamed Type-001A carrier – based on the Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class design – tested its systems in the Bohai Sea after leaving the Dalian Shipyard on May 13.

A major task during the trials was to test and assess the Chinese domestically built propulsion plant for the carrier, state-controlled media stated.

“The sea trials will mainly test the reliability and stability of the carrier’s power system and other equipment,” the state-controlled agency said when the carrier left port.
“Construction on the carrier has been carried out as planned since it was launched in April last year, and equipment debugging, outfitting and mooring tests have been completed to make it ready for the trial mission at sea.”

China’s Type-001A Carrier following its launching ceremony on April 26, 2017. Ministry of National Defense Photo

Chinese officials are preparing for the next set of trials that will move beyond the basic hull and mechanical functions of the Type-001A and include the ship’s combat and electrical systems, according to the South China Morning Post.

Several sets of trials are expected before the carrier officially delivers to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The Type-001A features a short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) configuration of the Soviet-era Chinese carrier Liaoning.

Reports from the PLA say the new carrier would field an unspecified number of Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark – an unlicensed copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 fighter.

A third carrier – which is reportedly under construction near Shanghai – is reported to look more like a U.S. carrier with a Catapult-Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) systems aboard.

China has said that it plans to seek a force of up to four aircraft carriers.

  • D. Jones

    Since they haven’t named it, we should.

    “Panda-launcher” should cause sufficient global outrage…

  • JimBobJoe

    Is that a ski-jump they have on their aircraft carrier??? *chuckle*

    • tiger

      Laugh if you wish. It works.

      • Centaurus

        We will piss on all cheese catch-ups and run their flight-crews through blenders to make Chop-Suey

        • tiger

          Well you are enthusiastic today! But the ramp system has worked well for many other users. And future carriers will have cats. They are starting from scratch and learning Naval air ops fast.

          • Centaurus

            Well chop-chop ching-ching we will sabotage their “thing”

    • GuanKim

      Is that big apple your butt?

  • RDF

    Four carriers. Those FA boys are licking their chops already.

    • Hugh

      4 is just for a start…….

  • RDF

    There is more to a navy than pretty hulls. Ask the Italians.

    • Hugh

      History repeats – remember the Japanese technological and competency surprises in 1941.

      • Phil Bissonnette

        In todays world large competencies are hard to hide- unlike the late 30’s. The carrier navies of today learned to fight them in WWII. Everyone else is going to play catch up for a long time. Not that they should be discounted.

      • RDF

        My point is the pln is a coastal force without open ocean deployment and sustainment capability. You need the capability, and then you need the 100 years deploying it successfully. Handful of navies in the world qualified.

    • John Burtis

      Ask the Italians about Taranto.

      • RDF

        Just pointing out how the Italian navy has always had beautiful ships. Beautiful. It’s not enough.

      • RDF

        or almost anything since carthage..

  • tim

    Laugh now, but the Chinese can take the long view, with a Dictator at the helm. Anything they do spells trouble. The only way to counter this, is by acknowledging that and to step up to the plate. Would it not be nice (I know , I may be too optimistic here), if we could get Russia to cooperate and the EU to fall in line?