China’s Homegrown Aircraft Carrier Begins Third Sea Trial


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report “Homegrown aircraft carrier begins its third sea trial! Bringing with it a special warship” today that Hong Kong’s takungpao.com says on October 28 that China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier set out for its third sea trial in the morning of that day. China’s national flag and a “Being Tested” flag have been raised on the ship.

According to some photos on the internet, the carrier is accompanied for the first time by Chinese navy’s logistics support ship No. 89.

The report says in addition that according to Taiwan’s CTnews, the photo of the site shows the carrier has installed arrest cables and whip-shaped antenna and there are models of various carrier-borne aircrafts on the ship’s flight deck.

The ship conducted its first sea trial for 5 days from May 13 and second for 10 days from August 26. CTnews expects that the third trial will also take 10 days.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com ““Homegrown aircraft carrier begins its third sea trial! Bringing with it a special warship” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese).

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China’s New Aircraft Carrier Begins Long Sea Trial for Comissioning


In its report “Type 001A: China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier on final sea run to combat readiness” today, SCMP says that China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier has set out from Dalian for its second sea trial for 6 to 12 months.

It quotes Hong Kong-based military expert Song Zhongping as saying,“This time the focus will be on testing the endurance of the new aircraft carrier’s propulsion system. The communications, command, damage control, lift operations and weapon systems will also be examinated.”

According to Song, the carrier will be handed over to Chinese Navy soon after it completed the second trial.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2161567/chinas-first-home-grown-aircraft-carrier-final-sea-run


Liaoning Aircraft Carrier Being Revamped to Get New Command Center


The aircraft carrier is getting a new “island” command centre.
Photo: Weibo

In its report “China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier gets brand new command centre”, SCMP carries the above photo showing China’s aircraft carrier the Liaoning being revamped to get a brand new command center.

Its radar has been removed in order to be replaced by a more advanced one. Its new island will be narrower and flatter to enable the carrier to have bigger space of operation of aircrafts and reduce radar reflection

The island will be similar to the new carrier China is building to have larger windows to enable commander to have a better view to direct the operation of aircrafts.

According to Chinese military expert Li Jie, the smaller island will not affect the command of China’s aircraft carrier battle group as China’s new Type 055 destroyer with more advanced telecommunications and electronics system, and better maneuverability instead of the carrier will serve as the flagship of the group.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2161582/chinas-liaoning-aircraft-carrier-gets-brand-new-command.


China’s Carrier-borne AEW&C Aircraft KJ-600


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report today, recently, the appearance of a model of KJ-600 carrier-borne AEW&C aircraft on the simulated cement aircraft carrier deck in Wuhan has drawn keen interest among Chinese military fans.

In response, China’s military expert Lan Shunzheng says that KJ-600 is a carrier-borne early warning warplane specially designed for an aircraft carrier with electromagnetic catapult. It is similar in size and shape to and as advanced as US navy’s E-2 carrier-borne early warning aircraft in service.

It is about 20-21 meters long, 9 meters wide and 6 meters high. Its empty and maximum takeoff weight is respectively about 18 and 24 tons. Its surveillance range is hundreds of kilometers.

KJ=600 is specially developed for China’s carrier with electromagnetic catapult, without which it may not take off due to its heavy weight. The Liaoning and China’s new homegrown sky-jump aircraft carriers cannot deploy KJ-600 due to their lack of catapult. They cannot but use surveillance helicopters with much shorter range of surveillance. KJ-600 can provide much better security for an aircraft carrier.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Simulated deployment of a model of KJ-600 on aircraft carrier: It is specially made for a carrier with electromagnetic catapult: expert” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s?


Screen shot from Chinese media shows a conference at the No.701 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation with picture in the background of China’s two current ski-jump carriers flanking a larger ship with a flat deck thought to picture what China’s third aircraft carrier will look like.

By Brad Lendon, CNNUpdated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT) June 22, 2018

(CNN) — The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier is regarded as the world’s most-advanced warship — but for how much longer?

A story published Thursday on the English website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army said the country’s top shipbuilding company is working on an aircraft carrier with an electromagnetic catapult aircraft launch system, something featured exclusively aboard the US Navy’s most expensive carrier ever, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

Aircraft launched by electromagnetic catapults can get airborne quicker and with greater quantities of fuel and ammunition, giving them an advantage over planes launched by standard steam catapult.

For decades, US carriers have used steam catapult systems, where steam explodes into a piston attached to the plane’s landing gear, powering it off the deck. Besides the Ford, the other 10 carriers in the US fleet use steam catapults.

Currently, Chinese carriers launch planes using a use a different, less advanced system, known as the ski-jump, meaning planes rely on their own power when lifting off.

The US Navy touts the electromagnetic system as capable of launching a wider range of aircraft at a better pace and requiring less maintenance. It’s also planned for the next ships in the Ford class, the USS John F Kennedy and USS Enterprise.

China has been undergoing an extensive naval modernization and expansion program, and a carrier to equal the US ships has long been thought to be an ambition of Beijing.

The story gave new support to that. Written by the state-owned Global Times and posted on the PLA’s website, the story centers around a photo that is “believed to be the country’s first aircraft carrier equipped with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system.”

The photo in question was released by the No.701 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and shows China’s two current ski-jump carriers flanking a larger ship with a flat deck.

That flat deck “makes an electromagnetic aircraft launch system possible,” the story says, citing military expert Song Zhongping.

“Three catapults on board show that the new ship will be able to launch aircraft faster and more frequently than the previous carriers, and therefore will possess stronger combat capabilities,” the Global Times story goes on to say.

The story included speculation that the new carrier is already under construction in Shanghai.

The new flat-top carrier would be China’s second domestically built carrier and its third carrier in total, following the acquisition and refit of a former Ukrainian vessel.

Last month, its first homegrown carrier, a 50,000-ton ship temporarily named Type 001A, began its first sea trials. The PLA’s website reported Wednesday that those trials were successfully completed this week. The Type 001A is expected to officially join the PLA Navy’s fleet sometime before 2020.

But experts said while the Type 001A will dramatically boost China’s military power in the Asia region, its technology was still outdated and lagged far behind the American fleet.

“This is, in and of itself, not designed to be some frontal challenge to US power in the Asia Pacific, because it simply isn’t in the class of America’s aircraft carriers,” Sam Roggeveen, senior fellow at Sydney’s Lowy Institute, told CNN in May.

China’s first carrier, the Liaoning, a retrofitted Soviet-era vessel bought from the Ukraine, was hailed as the fulfillment of a “70-year dream” of the Chinese nation when it launched to much celebration in 2012.

CNN’s Serenitie Wang and Ben Westcott contributed to this report.

Source: CNN “Will China have aircraft carrier that can match US Navy’s?”

Note: This is CNN’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


First China-made Aircraft Carrier to Deliver to Navy before Yearend


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report today that according to Hu Wenming, CSIC Chariman of the board of Directios, China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier has successfully passed all the tests in its first sea trial, which mainly focused on the reliability and stability of its dynamical system.

According to experts, the ship has been built ahead of schedule and is expected to be delivered to Chinese navy before yearend.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Fully completed first sea trial, homegrown aircraft carrier expected to be delivered to navy before yearend” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China says carrier group has reached ‘initial’ combat readiness


Reuters Staff May 31, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – The carrier group led by China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has reached “initial” combat readiness, the defense ministry said on Thursday, in another significant step in the country’s ambitious military modernization program.

Little is known about the aircraft carrier program, which China regards as a state secret.

It is part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping plan to refurbish the armed forces by developing everything from stealth jets to anti-satellite missiles, as China ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan.

China bought the Soviet-era Liaoning secondhand from Ukraine in 1998, before refitting mainly for training use as it honed the ability to operate fighter jets at sea and with other warships.

But the Liaoning has gone on increasingly high-profile missions recently, such as sailing around Taiwan, which China claims, and into the South China Sea.

The Liaoning and its accompanying carrier group had successfully been carrying out training missions, Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a monthly news briefing.

“The carrier group’s exercises have been deepened to include combat operations in the open seas. It has initially formed a system combat capability,” Ren said, without elaborating.

China’s second, domestically-developed, carrier, began sea trials earlier in May. It is as yet unnamed.

Chinese military experts have told state media the new carrier, built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been fully fitted out and armed.

Unlike the U.S. Navy’s longer-range nuclear carriers, both of China’s feature Soviet-design ski-jump bows, intended to provide sufficient take-off lift for fighter jets. They lack the powerful catapult launch technology that U.S. carriers have.

State media have quoted experts as saying China needs at least six carriers. The United States operates 10 and plans to build two more.

Most experts agree that developing such a force will be a decades-long task for China, but progress on a home-built carrier boosts prestige for Beijing, seen by many analysts as keen to eventually erode U.S. military prominence in the region.

Ren said he had no details to provide on whether China was building any other carriers.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Source: Reuters “China says carrier group has reached ‘initial’ combat readiness”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.