The Chinese Navy is expected to receive its first operational aircraft carrier, the Type 001A in April next year on the occasion of the Navy’s 70th anniversary.
Though this is the second carrier with the Navy, the first, a modified Ukrainian carrier, is used for testing and developing appropriate systems for carrier-based operations.
The Type 001A aircraft carrier is currently holding its fourth sea trial based on the online videos, pictures and an announcement of a military exercise by the Maritime Safety Administration of China, reported Global Times Thursday.
During the sea trial, the ship crew will run tests on the radar, communication, air traffic control systems, take-off and landing equipment; the ship’s aviation systems and J-15 jet fighter flight test. There will also be a comprehensive test of all of the carrier's systems including power, damage control, weapons, and navigation systems, the news daily quoted Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst as saying.
Military observers have been expecting carrier-based aircraft to conduct take-off and landing tests since the vessel's second sea trial in August.
Wang Yunfei, a naval expert, predicts J-15 fighter jets and helicopters to fly over the carrier deck to test and coordinate systems related to take-off and landing. "If everything works well, a take-off and landing test is possible," he noted.
Wei said that the J-15 pilots are already very familiar with take-off and landing on the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, so it will not be a difficult task to conduct tests on the new carrier.
Full-sized models of aircraft will also be used to test loading and maintenance equipment, such as the elevator to transfer aircraft between hangar and deck, Wei said.