China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, Type 001A, is reportedly ready for its second sea trials after the ship’s outfitting work was completed on Thursday, local media reports.
A report from wenweipo.com said the carrier has been moved out from the dock and is ready for its second sea trial.
"The carrier's surface doesn't show any big changes, and the outfitting work is primarily for inspection and maintenance. After the first sea trial, the ship's instruments collected data and information, so its equipment must be adjusted based on the data," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator told Global Times. "The carrier can be delivered to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy as soon as possible," he added.
The carrier's first sea trial was from May 13 to 18. The first sea trial results for the ship, known as the Type 001A, have been successful, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) Chairman Hu Wenming had said on June 21, according to the company's official website.
China launched Type 001A in April 2017, five years after commissioning its first carrier, the Liaoning, and expects to enter it into service later this year.
While the Liaoning was designed as a "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser" with significant armaments, Type 001A was designed to serve in a similar strategic role as US carriers, sailing as the centrepiece of a strike group. It is powered by eight conventional steam turbines with diesel engines, and has an expected cruising speed of about 36 mph.