China’s first domestic aircraft carrier begins preliminary trials

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier the 001A started preliminary trials in Dalian in the northeast of China in November. It has a similar design to the country’s first carrier the Liaoning.

Chinese engineers and designers who built the ship had studied the most advanced military technology used by the Americans and Soviet and tried to encorporate this into the new ship to meet the practical needs of the PLA Navy.

The 001A will be able to house a maximum number of 35 J-15 fighter jets compared with the 24 carried on board the Liaoning.

S-band radars with four large antennae would be installed on the top of control tower. The radar system is China’s most ­advanced and is capable of covering a 360-degree search field to scout dozens of targets in the air and at sea.

It has four HQ-10 short-range air defense missiles systems with 24 tubes. This weapons system is also used China’s most ­advanced Type 052D destroyers and Type 056 frigates.

China’s next carrier (002A) will be larger and will have an electromagnetic aircraft launching system like that used on the US Navy’s newest carrier the USS Gerald R. Ford.