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Video: China's First Home-Built Aircraft Carrier Started Sea Trials

China's first home-built aircraft carrier, known as the Type 002, set out from a dock of Dalian Shipyard, northeast China's Liaoning Province, for sea trials this morning (May 13, 2018). When commissioned, the yet to be named aircraft carrier will be the second one in the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN's) fleet.


China's first home-built aircraft carrier, known as the Type 002, set out from a dock of Dalian Shipyard, northeast China's Liaoning Province, for sea trials this morning (May 13, 2018). When commissioned, the yet to be named aircraft carrier will be the second one in the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN's) fleet.


Video Chinas First Home Built Aircraft Carrier Type 001 Started Sea Trials China's first home-built aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province for sea trials on May 13, 2018.


The event marks the start of sea trials for the 50,000 tons vessel which was launched on April 26, 2017 at the Dalian shipyard. The starts of these trials was highly anticipated by Chinese media and fans.

While the Chinese military announced the event this morning, it gave no details as to the duration and location for the sea trials. But our colleagues from Eastpendulum are reporting that Notification LN-0103 (辽 航 警 0103), issued by the Chinese Maritime Security Administration two days ago, seems to have given some information on these points, as it was already the case for the sea trials of Liaoning aircraft carrier in August 2011. Indeed, a large area of 3 666 km², on a perimeter of 253 km, has been closed to civilian traffic for "military mission" from May 13 to 09:00 to May 18 at 12:00, for a total duration of six days. This no-go zone is about 100 km southeast of Dalian in the northern part of the Yellow Sea.


CCTV video report


According to the official press release from the Chinese military, this first sea trial campaign will be devoted to testing the reliability and stability of the carrier's power system and other equipment (主要 检测 验证 动力 系统 系统 设备 等 设备 设备 设备 设备 设备 性.). Liaoning's propulsion system being in relatively good condition when the aircraft carrier was acquired, the Chinese engineers were able to re-use most of its design while making necessary improvements on the few original design defects. But in parallel they also designed a new steam propulsion system, which development was already completed in 2009, which was originally intended for a future CATOBAR aircraft carrier. But China decided to built a second STOBAR carrier in the meantime, given the geopolitical tensions. This new steam propulsion system has been fitted on Type 002.

The second Chinese aircraft carrier should be delivered to the PLAN by September 2019 according to Eastpendulum. Comparing the progress of construction of the first two Chinese aircraft carriers, they come to the conclusion that this date is quite realistic - Liaoning's first sea trials began on August 10, 2011 and the ship joined the Chinese Navy on September 25, 2012, a year and a month later.

CSIC Group's 701 design office may have conducted a lot of design changes to this second aircraft carrier compared to Liaoning, but the two ships can still be considered sisterships. It is safe to assume that the test campaign for this new vessel should not take much longer than Liaoning's.


Video Chinas First Home Built Aircraft Carrier Type 001 Started Sea Trials 2 China's first home-built aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province for sea trials on May 13, 2018.


Some of the differences or design changes between the two Chinese aircraft carriers include the propulsion system, fully updated combat systems and the layout of certain installations on board.

For example, the island of Type 002 is shorter in length than Liaoning's, which gives a slightly larger surface area on the flight deck, but not enough to justify a more substantial allocation of aircraft. The second Chinese aircraft carrier should therefore still carry 36 aircraft, including 24 J-15 fighters.

The photos and videos released this morning also allow us to see that the anti-frogman grenade launching system of the second Chinese aircraft carrier has evolved from eight tubes to twelve tubes per system. The four small munitions lifts, located between the two deflectors at the 105-meter stations, seem to have been replaced by a single, larger lift.

Note that the report from national television channel CCTV-13 revealed the name of the commanding officer of the new aircraft carrier: Rear Admiral LAI Yi Jun (来 奕 军), former commander of the 8th Frigate Flotilla and captain of the 522 Lianyungang frigate (Type 053H3). He was declared among the best commanding officers of the Chinese military in 2010. Little is known about this new commander but unofficial sources indicate that LAI is "very intelligent" and has a "very good level in English".