OSINT: Chinese Type-003 Aircraft Carrier Moved, May Indicate Sea Trials

OSINT: Chinese Type-003 Aircraft Carrier Moved, May Indicate Sea Trials

Flag China China's newest and largest aircraft carrier, the Type-003 Fujian, has been moved away from the quayside today. The ship has been being fitted out in a basin at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai since June last year. It's not the first time it has been moved at the quay, but as things progress it may be a leading indicator of the commencement of sea trials.

At around 320 meters long the carrier is almost as large as the U.S. Navy's Nimitz and Ford classes. Like the USS Gerald R. Ford it features electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) instead of steam catapults, or the ski-jump of earlier Chinese and Russian carriers. This will be a major step-up for the Chinese Navy (PLAN), allowing larger aircraft.

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The ship was moved today using tugs. The activity was observed via multiple open source intelligence (OSINT) means. These included being clearly visible in a Sentinel 2 satellite image from today.

Type-003 Aircraft Carrier, China
The carrier during fitting out. Note the coverings over the forward two EMALS catapults.
Type-003 Aircraft Carrier, China
Airbus satellite image from May 28 2023 during fitting out, via Google Earth.

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