skip to main content

Images show likely configuration of sensor suite for PLAN's next carrier

Photographs published on Chinese internet forums show that further developments and modifications have been made to the superstructure of the land-based aircraft carrier development facility in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. These likely reflect the changes that will be implemented in building the third carrier for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

An image of China’s land-based aircraft carrier development facility in Wuhan showing what is likely to be the future configuration of the sensor suite on the island of China’s third aircraft carrier.

The most significant feature is the installation of an integrated mast on top of the island superstructure, replacing the mast that in the first two carriers supports the mechanically rotated Type 382 (H/LJQ 382) 3D radar with its distinctive back-to-back skewed arrays. Multiple arrays appear to be fitted to the new mast, which has a housing with eight faces halfway up that seem to be designed to accommodate two differing sets of four arrays.

The mast design appears to reflect that fixed planar arrays will be adopted for most radio frequency sensors, comparable to the widespread use of such technology in the Type 055 destroyer, although the carrier systems are likely to be more focused on situational awareness and data communications rather than the functions of target illumination and weapon control that will be crucial in the destroyer.

As previously reported, the carrier mock-up retains the four square panels for the Type 346A ‘Dragon Eye’ surveillance radar, in the same configuration as in the second carrier, above which there are smaller square apertures that may be for a higher frequency radar or other sensors.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...