CV-XX (003 carrier) Thread I ... News & Discussions


sinophilia

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Launch is not exactly a gate-check of success nor is it a good indicator of construction completion. At the very least, you need to include the outfitting time. But in all honesty also the trials and debugging time. In my book, the most basic gate-check would be the date of delivery to PLAN. But even then, you cannot be confident that everything has been sorted out. Look at Gerard Ford: it was delivered in 2017 to the USN, but construction is still ongoing on that ship.

Yea but then if you compare it to Ford as you sort of did in the last sentence, Type 003 is not late at all. From keel lay down in November 2009 to now April 2021 it's still not in operational service.

So Ford is >11 years so far and Type 003 is 4-6 years so far (depending on when keel was laid down). And with Type 003 expected to launch next year and possibly commissioning happening 2 years after you're talking about 7-9 years.

Comparatively speaking the Type 003 isn't all that late is all I'm saying.
 

Bltizo

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Don't you think that construction of Type 003 goes a bit slow?

No. The super modules were moved to the drydock only in June/July last year.

10 months they have finished the hull including the keel, half of the hangar/flight deck level directly over the hull.


That is quite fast, faster than 002.
Especially given this is a bigger ship and new design as well.
 

sinophilia

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I don't think it would be surprising to see in a few years China producing 2x carriers at once, after the launch of this Type 003 next year maybe we'll get some rumors.

One would be another Type 003 and the other a Type 004. If the Type 004 progress is about as fast as the average lay down to launch (big assumption but let's just assume) AND the Type 004 is laid down in 2024, you could easily have 6-7 carriers in the water at varying stages of fitting out / sea trials / in service by 2030.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
I suppose China's track record of naval build-out in the last decade has set up explicitly or implicitly a pretty high bar of expectation - for China.

Someone asked a question if it appears that the construction of 003 has been slowed. Before there have been any definitive evidence or consensus, we already have advanced to diagnose why.

There is no reason for China to slow down the construction of 003 or other large naval projects currently. Judging by China's track record, it's most likely everything is on schedule, more or less.

We'll just have to be patient.
 

Bltizo

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To further clarify the "speed" with which 003 is being built...

Let's first recount the speed at which 002 was built -- this picture below excellently documents various stages of the aircraft carrier's construction from the appearance of its first modules in the drydock.

The first modules for the keel were laid between late February and early March, 2015.
The picture highlighted in green -- i.e.: 21st May, 2016 -- is probably the closest to where carrier 003 is right now. Given the picture right before 21st May 2016 was 19th December 2015 which depicted 002 at a significantly earlier stage of construction than 003 is now, let's say that the equivalent stage of where 003 is right now, was mid April 2016 for carrier 003 at the time.

In other words, for 002, between having its first modules laid down in the drydock (late Feb/early March 2015) and reaching where 003 is about right now (mid April 2016), took over 13 months.

002.jpg


===

That brings us to carrier 003.
The first super modules of 003 were only moved to the drydock in July 2020, one of the first pictures of which we had is this one:

003 july 2020.jpg


The image of 003 in 23rd March 2021 was this:
23 March 2021.jpg

And the most recent image of 003 from a few days ago -- very blurry, but showing progress from 23rd March, was this:

003 april 2021.png


AKA, about where 002 would have been in mid April 2016.


003 was first laid down in drydock in early July 2020 -- and reached its current level of completion as of early April 2021, taking 9 months.


That is to say, if we compare the assembly of 002 and 003 at their equivalent stages of assembly:
- 002 needed over 13 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today
- 003 needed 9 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today.

So no, I definitely wouldn't call 003's progress right now as "slow". If anything I'm surprised at how quickly they're doing it.
 

sinophilia

Junior Member
Registered Member
To further clarify the "speed" with which 003 is being built...

Let's first recount the speed at which 002 was built -- this picture below excellently documents various stages of the aircraft carrier's construction from the appearance of its first modules in the drydock.

The first modules for the keel were laid between late February and early March, 2015.
The picture highlighted in green -- i.e.: 21st May, 2016 -- is probably the closest to where carrier 003 is right now. Given the picture right before 21st May 2016 was 19th December 2015 which depicted 002 at a significantly earlier stage of construction than 003 is now, let's say that the equivalent stage of where 003 is right now, was mid April 2016 for carrier 003 at the time.

In other words, for 002, between having its first modules laid down in the drydock (late Feb/early March 2015) and reaching where 003 is about right now (mid April 2016), took over 13 months.

View attachment 70695


===

That brings us to carrier 003.
The first super modules of 003 were only moved to the drydock in July 2020, one of the first pictures of which we had is this one:

View attachment 70696


The image of 003 in 23rd March 2021 was this:
View attachment 70697

And the most recent image of 003 from a few days ago -- very blurry, but showing progress from 23rd March, was this:

View attachment 70698


AKA, about where 002 would have been in mid April 2016.


003 was first laid down in drydock in early July 2020 -- and reached its current level of completion as of early April 2021, taking 9 months.


That is to say, if we compare the assembly of 002 and 003 at their equivalent stages of assembly:
- 002 needed over 13 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today
- 003 needed 9 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today.

So no, I definitely wouldn't call 003's progress right now as "slow". If anything I'm surprised at how quickly they're doing it.

So actually to correct my earlier comment, Shandong took 2 years from being laid down to launch, not 3 years?!

That’s an unbelievably short amount of time for a carrier considering the US averages between 3-4 years from the keel being laid down to launch.

And Type 003 apparently looks like it could be launched in less than 2 years from being laid down? Am I understanding this right?

Even if this is correct it would be fair to note in the specific case of the Type 003, a few sources say construction work actually began as early as 2015 or 2016 and delays caused China to freeze progress in 2016/2017 due to issues with EMALS. Whether those sources are in any way correct I have no clue but maybe you can chime in on that. Did construction work really begin 4-5 years earlier at a level which would suggest using mid-2020 as a starting point is somewhat disingenuous?
 

Bltizo

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So actually to correct my earlier comment, Shandong took 2 years from being laid down to launch, not 3 years?!

That’s an unbelievably short amount of time for a carrier considering the US averages between 3-4 years from the keel being laid down to launch.

And Type 003 apparently looks like it could be launched in less than 2 years from being laid down? Am I understanding this right?

Even if this is correct it would be fair to note in the specific case of the Type 003, a few sources say construction work actually began as early as 2015 or 2016 and delays caused China to freeze progress in 2016/2017 due to issues with EMALS. Whether those sources are in any way correct I have no clue but maybe you can chime in on that. Did construction work really begin 4-5 years earlier at a level which would suggest using mid-2020 as a starting point is somewhat disingenuous?

002 took two years, two months from being laid down to launch.

I expect 003 will take up to two years from being laid down to launch.


So, there are different ways to classify when a ship starts to be "constructed".
One of them is laying down of the modules in the drydock, which is what I used here.
The other is the initial steel cutting for fabrication of said modules before they are laid down in the drydock -- which usually is 2 years or so before the first modules get laid.

In the case of 002, general consensus is that fabrication began in 2013, and the first modules were laid in 2015.

In the case of 003, I understand that initial fabrication work may have began 2015-16 but was quite quickly paused because they were deciding on whether to go with EM catapult or steam, and some rework was done. My understanding is that if there was any fabrication work done here, it was relatively small in scale. Fabrication of the modules (super modules) restarted or rather I would say only truly "began" in 2018, followed by laying down of the super modules in July 2020.


The reason we want to measure time of work is to reflect on the competency of the shipyard and the industry. However in the case of 003's "pause" in fabrication work it was not a reflection of shipyard or industry competency but a reflection of the strategic military decision to pivot the aircraft's work in pursuit of the change of a major subsystem in the carrier.


That's why I use the "module laying down" benchmark as the chosen timespan, because it most accurately reflects the competency of the overall yard in building the ship when everything for 003 has been everything having its "ducks in a row" in the same way that 002's construction was, rather than having pauses in fabrication which were outside of the shipyard's hands and not reflective of the shipyard's competencies.


If we want to talk about the time taken for each carrier to go from fabrication to launch...
- 002, IMO would be something like 4 and a half years from 2013 to April 2017.
- 003, IMO, if we try to account for the "extra" time taken early on in the fabrication process outside of the shipyard's control, IMO would probably best be measured from like early 2018 to a likely launch in early to mid 2022 -- i.e.: probably 4 to 4 and a half years. I suspect if JN builds another 003 pattern carrier that is how long it will take, if not a bit shorter.


That is to say, 003's construction as it is, I don't think can be said to be any reasonably slower than what 002 is. If anything it is similar in speed if not a little bit faster.
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
So actually to correct my earlier comment, Shandong took 2 years from being laid down to launch, not 3 years?!

That’s an unbelievably short amount of time for a carrier considering the US averages between 3-4 years from the keel being laid down to launch.
Such comparisons don't make a lot of sense, as they are not apples-to-apples. Those ships are of wildly different complexities and they were launched at different levels of completion.

And to add to that, there is a general trend that Chinese shipyards prioritize drydock time and consistently launch large naval vessels like destroyers and LHDs at a lower level of completion compared to US shipyards. That doesn't tell you much in of itself. In a different context, they could have the ships launched at a later date, and in turn have them spend less time outfitting pierside.

Time to launch comparisons are only meaningful for ships of same class, and preferably within the same shipyard where a similar level of completion is a reasonable expectation.
 
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BoraTas

Junior Member
Registered Member
To further clarify the "speed" with which 003 is being built...

Let's first recount the speed at which 002 was built -- this picture below excellently documents various stages of the aircraft carrier's construction from the appearance of its first modules in the drydock.

The first modules for the keel were laid between late February and early March, 2015.
The picture highlighted in green -- i.e.: 21st May, 2016 -- is probably the closest to where carrier 003 is right now. Given the picture right before 21st May 2016 was 19th December 2015 which depicted 002 at a significantly earlier stage of construction than 003 is now, let's say that the equivalent stage of where 003 is right now, was mid April 2016 for carrier 003 at the time.

In other words, for 002, between having its first modules laid down in the drydock (late Feb/early March 2015) and reaching where 003 is about right now (mid April 2016), took over 13 months.

View attachment 70695


===

That brings us to carrier 003.
The first super modules of 003 were only moved to the drydock in July 2020, one of the first pictures of which we had is this one:

View attachment 70696


The image of 003 in 23rd March 2021 was this:
View attachment 70697

And the most recent image of 003 from a few days ago -- very blurry, but showing progress from 23rd March, was this:

View attachment 70698


AKA, about where 002 would have been in mid April 2016.


003 was first laid down in drydock in early July 2020 -- and reached its current level of completion as of early April 2021, taking 9 months.


That is to say, if we compare the assembly of 002 and 003 at their equivalent stages of assembly:
- 002 needed over 13 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today
- 003 needed 9 months between initial laying down of modules to where 003 is today.

So no, I definitely wouldn't call 003's progress right now as "slow". If anything I'm surprised at how quickly they're doing it.
Extra impressive when you also think about the lockdowns.
 

sinophilia

Junior Member
Registered Member
Such comparisons don't make a lot of sense, as they are not apples-to-apples. Those ships are of wildly different complexities and they were launched at different levels of completion.

Well, the Type 003 I would not say is so wildly different that it should be completed in 50% of the time right? Yes, the Ford and Nimitz are nuclear and moderately larger but that is probably the biggest difference. I would not be surprised if when China produces Type 004s that they are also similarly faster than US production times. If you look at the Type 075 which is about the same in displacement and capability as the Tarawa or Wasp class they also seemed to have launched at half the production time relatively speaking.

And to add to that, there is a general trend that Chinese shipyards prioritize drydock time and consistently launch large naval vessels like destroyers and LHDs at a lower level of completion compared to US shipyards.

That is interesting. Is there any source for this I did not know that. This would imply that from launch to commissioning they should take somewhat longer than the US but that doesn't seem to be true.
 

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