China has begun engine ignition tests of the Navy’s first Type 075 landing helicopter dock (LHD).
Development work on Type 075 helicopter carriers began in 2011. The first and second ships of the class were launched in September 2019 and April 2020 respectively.
The ships were in their fitting out stage in Shanghai. It follows the float-out/launching of a vessel and precedes sea trials.
New images being circulated on Twitter show white smoke billowing out of the engines. Experts suggest it could hint at the ignition test being carried out.
Built by Shanghai-based Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, the 237m boats have a displacement of over 35,000 tons. Armaments aboard the ship include two H/PJ-11 30 mm (1.2 in) close-in weapon systems and two HHQ-10 surface-to-air missiles that are developed from TY-90. Thirty attack helicopters can be carried per dock, according to Chinese media reports.
On April 11, a fire broke out in China’s first Type 075 ship. The Chinese state media citing naval experts reported that the likely cause of the fire was due to problems with the power and mechanical systems, sparks caused by electric welding, a fire in the kitchen or some flammable materials on deck.