Five years after commissioning its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, China launched its second carrier – the Type 001A – on April 26, 2017. Unlike its Soviet-built predecessor, the Type 001A is China’s first domestically built carrier. Both carriers are similar in size and use a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system for the launch and recovery of aircraft. Although similar to the Liaoning, the Type 001A features some notable enhancements and represents an important step in China’s developing aircraft carrier program.
Chinese aircraft carrier – Type 001A – Video
- The control tower island of the Type 001A is approximately 10 percent smaller than that of the Liaoning.
- It displaces roughly 66,000 – 70,000 tons, a few thousand more tons than the Liaoning.
- It features the advanced Type 346 S-band AESA radar system.
- Its airwing is expected to be slightly larger than that of the Liaoning, featuring around 8 additional aircraft.
- The Type 001A may have an internal arrangement that is better optimized than the Liaoning’s.
- It will likely join the fleet by the end of 2019.
|Timeline of Key Events|
|April 26, 2017||Launch Date|
|May 13 – May 18, 2018||First Sea Trial|
|August 26 – September 4, 2018||Second Sea Trial|
|September 11 – September 12, 2018||Arresting Gear Installed|
|September 14, 2018||Flight Tests for J-15, Z-18, and Z-9 Begin|
|September 25, 2018||Installation of Radio Antenna|
|October 9, 2018||J-15D Spotted on Flight Deck|
|October 28 – November 6, 2018||Third Sea Trial|
|December 27, 2018 – January 8, 2019||Fourth Sea Trial|
|February 27, 2019 – March 4, 2019||Fifth Sea Trial|
Comparing the Type 001A and the Liaoning
Outlines derived from satellite photos demonstrate the similarities between the carriers.
Key Characteristics of the Type 001A
|Carrier Type||Type 001||Type 001A|
|Displacement||60,000 – 66,000 tons||66,000 – 70,000 tons|
|Ski-jump inclination||14 Degrees||TBD. Some reports indicate a 12 degrees inclination, but this is yet to be confirmed.|
18-24 J-15 fighters
17 Ka-28/Ka-31/Z-8S/Z-8JH/Z-8AEW helicopters
|TBD. It is expected that the Type 001A will feature a slightly larger airwing than the Liaoning. An additional 4 fixed-wing aircraft or 8 helicopters is likely.|
|Complement||1,960 crew; 626 air group||TBD|
|Armament||3 × Type 1130 CIWS; 3 × HQ-10 SAM (18-Cell); 2 RBU-6000 ASW rocket launchers and flare/chaff rocket launchers||TBD. Likely similar to the Liaoning|
|Radar||Type 346 S-band AESA||Type 346A S-band AESA|
|Propulsion||Conventional steam turbines with diesel generators||Conventional steam turbines with diesel generators|
|Cruising Speed||29 knots||31 knots (expected)|
|All information is subject to change. Figures for the Type 001A are likely to change as more information becomes available. Details of the Liaoning sourced from The Military Balance. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any relevant information.|
Explore the Liaoning
The Type 001A shares several similarities with the Liaoning. Explore our 3D model of the Liaoning on our feature page.