The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is conducting sea trials for aircraft carrier Shandong in accordance with the arrangement of the annual trial plan. The training is to test the performance of weapons and equipment and improve the level of aircraft carrier training, so as to further enhance the troops’ ability to perform missions and tasks. The Type 001A Shandong left the Dalian Shipyard in northeast China’s Liaoning Province for military missions at sea on May 25. This is its maiden voyage for training since commissioned five months ago, marking that the Shandong has primarily formed combat effectiveness.
Shandong (Shāndōng Jiàn) is a first-generation Chinese aircraft carrier that was launched on 26 April 2017 for the PLAN. Shandong was constructed by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, part of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, in Dalian, Liaoning province, China. It is the country’s second aircraft carrier after the completion of Liaoning, and the first built domestically. Shandong was initially designated as a Type 001A air carrier during development but was finalized as Type 002 at commissioning. The aircraft carrier’s design is largely based on China’s first carrier Liaoning, which was itself built from the partially-complete hull of the Soviet Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Varyag.
The aircraft carrier retains the ski jump takeoff, which limits its air wing to helicopters and Shenyang J-15 fighter jets of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force, and the ship is powered by conventional oil-fired boilers driving eight steam turbines derived from the Soviet-designed examples installed on Liaoning. It measures about 315 metres long, with a displacement of about 55,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded). Shandong, like its predecessor, uses the simpler “short take-off but arrested recovery” (STOBAR) launch and recovery system.