September 07, 2016

China's Type 001a carrier has nearly finished construction and should launch from drydock in early 2017

China's domestic 001a aircraft carrier is nearly complete and could be ready for sea trials by early 2017 The carrier now awaits only the installation of its superstructure - also known as the "island" of an aircraft carrier. This part houses the bridge of the ship, its aviation facilities, and its radar and electronic warfare systems in addition to other key systems.

The new carrier is thought to be displace 60,000 to 70,000 tons. That's far short of the new US Gerald Ford class's 100,000 tons. The Type 001a will probably carry something in the area of 48 aircraft, including 36 J-15 multi-role carrier-based fighters and another dozen Z-18 or Z-9 helicopters. The new ship will probably be launched from drydock sometime early next year and will float pierside for the rest of the refitting process. That will take at least a few years, and ship trials will take another year or two. It will not be fully operational until 2020 or later.

The J-15 is structurally based on the Russian Su-33, the indigenous fighter features Chinese technologies as well as avionics from the J-11B program

SOURCES- Wikipedia, NDTV, Popular Mechanics, Janes

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