China’s second aircraft carrier returned to the shipyard on Friday after completing its sixth sea trial, which might have featured warplane takeoff and landing tests for the first time, reports said.

The first domestically developed aircraft carrier Type 001A moored back to its dock at the Dalian Shipyard in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province Friday morning, six days after the vessel set out for its sixth sea trial on May 25, news website wenweipo.com reported on Friday.

Photos provided on Chinese image service provider IC on Friday showed tire prints of warplanes on the carrier’s flight deck.

This is an indication that the second aircraft carrier could have undertaken its first fighter jet takeoff and landing test, the report said.

When aircraft land on the carrier, they usually leave tire prints. When China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning undertook similar tests, such prints were also spotted on its flight deck.

Another possibility is that carrier-based aircraft conducted touch-and-go landings, which means the aircraft may have landed on the flight deck but took off without stopping, a Chinese military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Friday.

Either way, tire prints indicate the aircraft carrier is one step closer to its combat readiness and commissioning, the expert said.

In the previous five sea trials, the Type 001A successfully tested its main functions, including the propulsion system, combat and supply capabilities, China Central Television reported in April. No tire prints were spotted after those trials.

Military experts previously told the Global Times that the Type 001A will be commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy within the year. The wenweipo.com report predicted that might come as soon as next month.

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It is not yet known if the second carrier will make another sea trial, or if it is waiting to join naval service directly.

 

 

Source: Global Times

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1 COMMENT

  1. It’s high time we consider ramping up the building of aircraft carriers here: we have the #2 EEZ, just after the USA, thanks to the many islands we discovered in the Pacific+Indian oceans. In fact, the EU should consider taking over such expenses which are pretty heavy for nation-states
    https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6416/27652091.1de/0_7510d_e7cb30d_XXXL.jpg
    Considering that these were proposed to us for the 5th of the price of the USS G.Ford, that the builder now manages to have a 95% availability on the LHDs while the former generation of aircraft carrier had 70% and US ones have 50% availability, building 5 of such aircraft carriers for the EU added to our and the Italian/Spanish ones using VSTOL, well, we could assume a presence on par with US Navy, thus enforcing the freedom of navigation China is more and more inclined at threatening.
    Any of these aircraft carriers is capable to carry 3 full squadrons of 18 fighter jets while Type 001a can carry 2 squadrons and an US super-carrier can carry 4.