A landlocked test rig for the Type 055 Cruiser nears completion
The Type 055 cruiser test rig made its Internet debut in March 2014 on Chinese websites. With a projected length of 160 to 180 meters, judging from the test rig’s 140 to 150 meter length (which does not include the entire helicopter landing pad nor bow forward of the turret), and a width of about 21 to 23 meters, it would displace about 12,000 to 14,000 tons. That would make the Type 055 cruiser the largest Asian surface warship since World War II’s Japanese Tone class heavy cruisers.
The Type 055 cruiser is expected to command Chinese taskforces, act as the center of fleet air defenses against enemy air attacks, escort carrier groups and launch barrages of land attack and anti-ship missiles to project Chinese airpower. Judging from its 12,000 to 14,000 ton displacement, it could carry at least 112 to 128 vertical launch systems (VLS) cells for missiles. With that amount of firepower, the Type 055 cruiser could exceed the 122 VLS cells of the USN’s Ticonderoga class Aegis Cruisers.
…The purpose of building such a mockup is to test electronic interaction/interference between the Type 055’s multiple radars, communications and other electronic equipment in the real world. Conducting such tests before launching the first Type 055 cruiser allows for modifications to the electronics set up to be more easily changed, as well as on site support from electronics laboratories. However, the test rig is not an accurate representative of actual Type 055 layout (the helicopter hangar in the rear has no door, and no anti-stealth radar has been installed over it, as is the case with the Type 052C and Type 052D destroyers).
When the Type 055 cruiser test rig turns on, the airwaves in Wuhan will get a lot more crowded. Once the Chinese launch the first Type 055 cruiser, the waters in the western Pacific, and around the world, are also going to get pretty crowded too.
Full article: China’s Getting Ready to Turn on Asia’s Biggest Warship (Popular Science)