Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong
Shandong (17; Chinese: 山东舰) is a first-generation Chinese aircraft carrier that was launched on 26 April 2017 for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China. It is the country's second aircraft carrier after the completion of Liaoning, and the first built domestically.
|Builder:||Dalian Shipbuilding Industry|
|Laid down:||March 2015|
|Launched:||26 April 2017|
|Completed:||25 April 2018|
|Commissioned:||17 December 2019|
|Status:||In active service|
|General characteristics (as designed)|
|Class and type:||Type 002-class aircraft carrier|
|Length:||315 m (1,033 ft)|
|Beam:||75 metres (246 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Conventional steam turbines, 4 shafts|
|Speed:||31 knots (36 mph; 57 km/h)|
The carrier was constructed by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, part of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, in Dalian, Liaoning province, China. According to the state media service Xinhua, The started fabrication of vessel in November 2013, and the laid down the keel for its hull in a drydock began in March 2015. The Chinese government did not publicly confirm the ship's existence until construction was well underway. Satellite imagery for the defense analysis industry showed the aircraft carrier in the early stages of hull assembly by March 2015. Public photos of a hull with military characteristics at the Dalian shipyard surfaced on the internet the next month. In October 2015, the first definite signs of the vessel's role appeared when construction of a hangar deck began on the hull. In December 2015, a Chinese defense ministry spokesman confirmed that the ship was an aircraft carrier, stating that the design and construction work was under way.
In May 2016, the ski jump takeoff ramp was noted to be close to installation. The ship's island superstructure was fabricated in two parts: the nine-deck forward half, containing the bridge and main mast, was installed by September of that year, while the aft half, with the funnel and air intakes, was installed in the weeks that followed. By the end of 2016, the ship was substantially structurally complete.
The type of the carrier is Type 002.
Following the launch, the carrier was fitted-out and underwent early tests of the propulsion system. After fitting-out was completed in November 2017, dockside system trials began.
At the time of its launch, the ship was not expected to be delivered to PLAN until 2020; however, successful early tests put the project ahead of schedule and media reports indicated that it could enter the navy fleet in 2019. While its predecessor Liaoning has been used largely as a training ship since it entered active service in 2012, the Type 002 is expected to be used in regular military operational service.
The Type 002 first sea trials occurred in May 2018 in the Bohai Sea. Trials continued through August 2019.
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. It retains the ski jump takeoff, which limits its air wing to helicopters and Shenyang J-15 fighter jets, 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 (1,033 ft) long, with a displacement of about 55,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded).
However, it carries modifications and upgrades compared to Liaoning. It has increased storage for ammunition and fuel, with a larger aircraft capacity of 44 aircraft, eight more than Liaoning. It has a broader flight deck, while the island superstructure on Type 002 is also shorter to give more space for aircraft movements. The island also has redesigned radars and a new bridge, while the fleet command and flight control tower are on separate floors for more efficiency. It includes an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system.
Future carriers, such as the Type 002 aircraft carrier, are planned to use an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) that allows the launch of heavier aircraft as well as more advanced aircraft such as the Shenyang J-31 or the Chengdu J-20.
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