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CNS Shandong (17) (Type 001A)

Conventionally-Powered Aircraft Carrier

The Shandong 17 is an under-construction, conventionally-powered aircraft carrier set to serve the growing Chinese Navy.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 1/22/2020
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Year: 2019
Status: Commissioned, in Active Service
Ships-in-Class: 1
Named Ships: CNS Shandong (17)
Roles: Aircraft/Offshore Support;
Complement: 2600
Length: 1033 ft (314.86 m)
Width: 246 ft (74.98 m)
Height: 36 ft (10.97 m)
Displacement (Surface): 55,000 tons
Propulsion: ASSUMED: Conventional steam turbine arrangement involving diesel units for cruising and gas turbines for high-speed dashing actions driving power to 4 x Shafts under stern.
Speed (Surface): 31 kts (36 mph)
Range: 3,910 nm (4,500 miles; 7,242 km)
Operators: China
With China's growing economy has come a growing military capability and this, in turn, has spurred internal development of many weapon types. No longer content with importing foreign goods to fulfill local solutions, Chinese engineers are heading work in what looks to become promising results. One of the areas that the military seeks to expand is in its ocean-going capabilities and what is needed here are modern aircraft carriers.

During the 1990s, amidst the backdrop of a growing China and a fallen Soviet Union, China purchased the hulk of an ex-Soviet aircraft carrier - a conventionally-powered warship with ski-jump ramp at the bow - from Ukraine. The carrier was rebuilt and repurposed for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and its commissioning coincided with a new naval fighter developed from the Soviet Sukhoi Su-27 "Flanker" series. This aircraft carrier is now serving actively as CNS Liaoning (16).

Going on now (2017) is construction of a new, indigenous aircraft carrier to be named CNS Shandong (17). This warship, also powered by conventional means, will be both larger and heavier than the Liaoning while carrying more combat aircraft. It is estimated to be in the 60,000 to 70,000 ton displacement range and provide support for between 40 and 50 aircraft (including helicopters and drones). In addition to these qualities, the vessel will feature advanced processing systems, sensors, and a radar fit to include the Type 346A series. Lasers may also figure into the self-defense aspects of the ship. There is also talk of a shipborne Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) being prototyped.

Construction on Shandong began in 2015 and the vessel is scheduled to be launched sometime in 2020. It is expected that, once commissioned, the powerful Shandong will serve as flagship to the modern PLAN. The service hopes to fund and build as many as six aircraft carriers, no doubt to power-project in the region as well as to challenge the authority of the United States Navy on the high seas in general. The South China Seas, with its many resource rich areas and islands, also remains a point of contention between many of the regional powers including Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Program Updates

April 2017 - Shandong, China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier, was officially launched.

February 2018 - The Shandong is on pace to be commissioned for service some time in 2020. She is currently being fitted out for duty.

November 2019 - Commissioning of the Shandong is expected soon according to reports.

November 2019 - CNS Shandong was spotted at the southern end of Hainan Island. Satellite imagery showcased at least seven J-15 carrier-capable fighters on its deck as well as several Chinese helicopters (Z-9, Z-18)

December 2019 - CNS Shandong has officially entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) force. The vessel was commissioned on December 17th, 2019.


3 x HQ-10 (18-cell) Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems.
3 x 30mm Type 1130 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).

Air Wing

ASSUMED/ESTIMATED (approximately 38 to 40 total combat, support, and special-mission aircraft):

32 x Shenyang J-11 or J-15 fighter aircraft.
6 x Changhe Z-18 helicopters.
2 x Harbin Z-9 helicopters.
2 x KJ-600 transport / AEW aircraft (estimated).

Ski-jump type bow-launching, arrestor hook recovery.
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