Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard launched its first large floating dry dock on Monday to transport ultra-large ship modules which is likely to accelerate work on China's third aircraft carrier.
China Central Television reported in 2019 that China's third aircraft carrier was under construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard.
The third aircraft carrier could be launched within the next two years, be combat ready by 2025 and feature an electromagnetic catapult launch system and stealth fighter jets. A catapult launch system is said to cut down aircraft release time by a third. In addition, it will enable the launch of large attack drones and fixed-wing early-warning aircraft.
The Jiangnan Shipyard under state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp Ltd on Monday held a launch ceremony for the floating dry dock, according to a statement the shipyard released on Monday.
The dry dock is a container-shaped, half-open non-propelled ship with a length of 250 meters, width of 60 meters, depth of seven meters and draft of 4.8 meters. It is capable of carrying a maximum cargo of 32,000 tons.
The floating dock can be used in the launch and transportation of large or ultra large ship modules and special equipment, the shipyard said.
If a large ship is built via modular construction approach, a floating dock can serve as a barge and transport the modules from their berths to an assembly site for the next step of construction.
Following the launch, this device is being outfitted with equipment including rails and pipes to start mooring trials. It is scheduled to be delivered and become ready for use in mid-September, according to the statement.