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.
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.
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.