Come February and China will cross another milestone in its military self reliance when it will begin the sea trial of its home made Aircraft Carrier (ACC) technically known as Type 001A from Dalian Shipyard where it is being constructed.
According to a news report of Asia Times, the ship (wrongly mentioned as Type 002) is expected to go on its first sea voyage in the coming February into the Bohai sea after the Chinese lunar New Year break. It was launched on April 26 at Dalian shipyard which is situated in the Northeast China's Liaoning Province at the mouth of Bohai Sea - north western extension of the Yellow sea.
Dalian Shipyard also revamped China’s first ACC- Russian made Varyag- later commissioned as Liaoning on 25 September, 2012.
“The Type 001A is preparing its first mooring test, and the Type 002, far more advanced than the Type 001A, is under construction in Shanghai,” writes Global Times on December 21. China is building two more ACC simultaneously which they plan to induct in coming decade. The type 002 is being constructed at Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai.
Type 001A, exact copy of the Liaoning, is expected to join the People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in 2020. Talking of the Type 001 A, Asia Times reports, “The apex of the vessel’s “island” has been fitted out with electronically-scanned array radars, and metal scaffolding is being peeled from the exterior, as seen in these photos.” The flight deck of the ACC is being given the last touchups before it goes for trials in February after the temperature in the Bohai sea rises.
“For sure the speed is impressive, as it has only taken 10 months after the [new carrier’s] dry dock was flooded for the first time in April till the builder’s trial and acceptance trial at sea, to be conducted in February 2018,” it said quoting a military expert. The new carrier is expected to be 315 m long and 75m at beam and carry more fighter aircrafts than the Liaoning.