June, 2015 photographs, show the beginnings of the hull of what has been called the Type 001A carrier taking form in the Dalian shipyard.
The shipyard appears to be employing a pyramid method of hull construction. Most civilian ships adopt a block method of hull construction for speed. As shipbuilding standards have improved, large military destroyers have also adopted this method of construction. The pyramid method of construction suggested by the photographs likely means that the project entails a greater level of difficulty than other civilian or military ships. The US still uses the pyramid method to build its carriers.
According to Western media reports, the Type 001A carrier incorporates an additional double rectangle structure, which, analysts say, is to allow for the installation of China's new X band active electronically scanned array radar system. The radar system, which will likely be installed on the second deck of the ship, will give the ship 360 degree coverage, making it more advanced than the Liaoning, the country's first aircraft carrier refitted from the hulk of a Soviet-era carrier purchased from Ukraine.
Shipyards for second and third aircraft carriers
China's first domestically produced aircraft carrier will be built by Dalian Shipyard, Chinese media reported, adding that there are several reasons for it to become the building base for aircraft carriers.
The first reason is that the Liaoning, which marks China's entry into the "world's aircraft carrier club," was repaired, maintained and converted at the shipyard, which has a workforce of engineers and skilled workers.
Secondly, the Dalian yard has built China's first missile submarine, speedboat and missile destroyer, as well as supply vessels.
Jiangnan Shipyard will likely build China's second domestically-built aircraft carrier.
The Dalian shipyard emerged because of its edge in the experience of design and production. Most of the parts of the Liaoning, especially the production of key equipment, came from the industrial unit of the Dalian facility.
China will require six years to build an aircraft carrier of its own and the next four aircraft carriers will boost the country blue-water naval capacity.
Although China's blue-water navy capacity is still limited, reports said the water displacement of the second domestically-built carrier will be 59,000 tons, equal to the Liaoning, which is already in service and can carry 22 fixed-wing fighters.
Training facility for aircraft carrier crews
Chongming island appears to be the likely training base for aircraft carrier crews.
China's Type 055 guided-missile destroyer will be part of future carrier groups
Like the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers of the United States Navy, China's Type 055 guided-missile destroyers were developed to defend the PLA Navy's carrier battle group from enemy air and missile strikes, reports the Beijing-based Sina Military Network.
Photos of a model warship purported to be the Type 055 reveal sophisticated electronics and an integrated stealth mast fitted with advanced electronic support measures. With such equipment, the Type 055 destroyer can serve as an anti-air warfare command-and-control platform, similar to the role played by US Navy Ticonderoga-class cruisers.