China's carrier replenishment ship begins sea trials


Date:2016-12-31 Source:janes By:Globalmil Viewed:

Andrew Tate, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
30 December 2016
安德鲁·泰特,伦敦 - IHS简的国防周刊

The PLAN's new Type 901 replenishment ship commenced sea trials on 18 December. Source: Credit: Via
中国海军新的901型补给船于12月18日开始海上试航。 资料来源:通过

The People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) new Type 901 replenishment ship commenced sea trials on 18 December, according to Chinese media.

The 45,000-tonne vessel, which was built at Guangzhou Shipyard International's Longxue shipyard on the Pearl River, is expected to provide logistics support to the PLAN's nascent carrier force.

Photographic evidence of the ship's construction emerged in late 2015, not long before it was launched on 15 December 2015. It is equipped with three gantries and a fourth high-point structure port side aft, configured with five hose rigs for liquid refuelling on the port side and four on the starboard side. The central gantry provides a transfer station for solids on each side.

The ability to have multiple hoses connected will enable the Type 901 to not only provide aviation fuel and fuel oil to the carrier simultaneously, but also minimise the duration of each replenishment serial: a potentially hazardous evolution which limits the carrier's manoeuvrability and precludes it from operating aircraft.

The Type 901 will be able to refuel a carrier from its port side and, when fully worked-up, the ship will also be able to simultaneously refuel one of the carrier's destroyer/frigate escorts on its starboard side.

Replenishment of solids can be expected to include food and equipment spares, as well as air-launched munitions.

Propulsion of the Type 901 is thought to be provided by four QC280 gas turbines, each delivering 28 MW, enabling the ship to achieve a maximum speed of about 25 kt. This is significantly faster than the Fuchi-class (Type 903A). The speed is needed for the Type 901 to keep pace with the carrier and its escorts.

Refuelling conventionally powered carriers may be required every 3-4 days if conducting intensive flying operations requiring the carrier to operate near its maximum speed for extended periods.

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