Sunday, May 20, 2018

China's 2nd Aircraft Carrier is Undergoing Sea Trials

China launched its first domestically produced aircraft carrier earlier for sea trials this week at the northeastern port of Dalian, in the south of Liaoning Province, China. The new ship has not been named yet and carries the temporary designation “Type 001A”.

The new Type 001A is a slightly larger vessel than China’s previous aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, that was purchased from Ukraine in 1999 and originally built in 1985 in the then-Soviet Union as a Kuznetsov-class aircraft cruiser. Liaoning has had three names: first christened as the Riga under Soviet use, then renamed the Varyag and finally the Liaoning after the Chinese purchase in 1999. Analysts report the primary role of the Liaoning has been a training vessel for the development of Chinese carrier doctrine and operations.

The new Type 001A is 315 meters long and 75 meters wide as compared to the slightly smaller Liaoning that is 304 meters long and 70 meters wide. Both ships displace roughly 50,000 tons, significantly less than the Nimitz-class carriers with a loaded displacement of between 100,000–104,000 tons. The U.S. Nimitz-class carriers are also longer at 333 meters.

China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier left its northeastern port to begin sea trials on [May 13th], state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s efforts to modernize its military.

China’s first homebuilt aircraft carrier has left for its first set of sea trials on Sunday, according to state-controlled media.

The yet-unnamed Type 001A carrier was unmoored and moved by tugs from its berth at the Dalian shipyard and headed out to sea, according to photos released by the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday.

“The sea trials will mainly test the reliability and stability of the carrier’s power system and other equipment,” the state-controlled agency said.

“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.”

The length of the trials was not announced but a local notice to mariners restricted a portion of the Yellow Sea near the shipyard from Sunday to Friday.

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