China on 26th April launched its first ever indigenous aircraft carrier in a ceremony held at the Dalian shipyard of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in Liaoning Province, whose name is shared by their first carrier.
The class has been named as Type 001A, and the ship’s construction started in 2013. It also comes just days after the 68th anniversary of the founding of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.
The carrier has been moved from dry dock to the adjacent berth, where final construction of the carrier will take place, fitting out and builder’s trials before being commissioned into the PLAN.
The vessel, which has been described by Chinese state-owned media as a “more elegant and much improved version of Liaoning” and thus is heavily derived from the old Soviet Ship.
The ship features a ski jump for its STOBAR configuration and is expected to be complemented by 32-36 J15s for its air wing, which is an increment from the 24 carried by Liaoning.
The most obvious superficial difference from the Liaoning is the reconfiguration of the four phased array radar panels, with those on the new ship facing diagonally outward on both sides of bridge fore and aft. The new vessel is also expected to be faster (top speed of 31 kt) than Liaoning (29 kt) and has a shorter island and a larger hangar.
Pic credits – Reuters