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Military Marvel: China Ready to Test Asia’s Largest Warship

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New satellite data reveals that China is getting ready to test Asia’s largest surface warship. It will be tested at a landlocked test rig in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China.

 The warship Type 055 cruiser mockup is nearing completion with recent photos showing that the warship’s sophisticated electronics and assimilated stealth mast are finished and ready to be tested at the test rig in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.

On Thursday, Popular Science’s ‘Eastern Arsenal’ blog reported, citing new satellite images, that China’s “Type 055 cruiser test rig in Wuhan is well on its way to opening for business.”

The purpose of building such a mockup is to test electronic interaction/interference between the Type 055’s multiple radars, communications and other electronic equipment in the real world.

Any required modifications to the electronics can be easily changed on the mockup as well as site support from the laboratories will be provided during the testing.

The first photos of the test rig were made available on Chinese internet in April of last year. In January 2015 the images showed the rig nearing completion.

Chinese soldiers pose in tanks during a training session at the Academy of Armored Forces Engineering of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) in Beijing, China, 22 July 2014
The authors write that Type 055 cruisers may possibly have a length of 160-180 meters, a width of 21-23 meters, and a displacement of 12,000-14,000 tons. At that displacement, the Type 055 cruisers will be the largest surface warship built in Asia since Imperial Japan produced Tone-class heavy cruisers with a standard displacement of 11,000 tons during the Second World War.

Regarding the mission of the warship, the authors noted that the Type 055 cruiser will command Chinese taskforces; act as the center of fleet air defenses against enemy air attacks, accompany carrier groups and launch barrages of land attack and anti-ship missiles to project Chinese airpower.

The Type 055 cruiser’s vertical launch systems (VLS) cells could be loaded with a variety of Chinese missiles, including the new YJ-18 anti-ship missile, HQ-9 long range surface-to-air missile, and the CJ-1000 land attack cruise missile.