A naval formation consisting of aircraft carrier Liaoning has conducted take-off and landing drills in the South China Sea on Jan. 1, 2017. The formation, which is on a "cross-sea area" training exercise, involved J-15 fighter jets, as well as several ship-borne helicopters. (Photo: Navy.81.cn)
Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard, responsible for the construction of warships that reportedly include China's third aircraft carrier, launched its first large floating work dock on Monday. This new platform can help with the launch and transport of large or ultra large ship modules.
The Jiangnan Shipyard under state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp Ltd on Monday held a launch ceremony for the floating work dock, which is a milestone for the company's development under the normalized epidemic control situation, according to a statement the shipyard released on Monday.
This dock is essentially a steel-made, container-shaped, half-open non-propelled ship with a length of 250 meters, width of 60 meters, depth of seven meters and draft of 4.8 meters.
Capable of carrying a maximum cargo of 32,000 tons, the floating dock can be used in the launch and transportation of large or ultra large ship modules and special equipment, the shipyard said.
If a large ship is built via modular construction approach, a floating dock can serve as a barge and transport the modules from their berths to an assembly site for the next step of construction.
Following the launch, this device is being outfitted with equipment including rails and pipes to start mooring trials.
It is scheduled to be delivered and become ready for use in mid-September, according to the statement.
The Jiangnan Shipyard is one of China's most important shipbuilders. It not only builds civilian ships, but also serves a main contractor for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy and has been building warships such as Type 052D and Type 055 destroyers in recent years, according to reports.
In November 2019, Jin Yi'nan, a professor at National Defense University of the PLA, said on China Central Television that China's third aircraft carrier was under construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard.
According to the Xinhua News Agency in 2018, this new aircraft carrier was then being built on berth.
The shipyard did not reveal further information about the floating dock's future work plan after delivery.