China's 2nd homegrown barracks ship has arrived in Dalian city of northeastern China's Liaoning Province to meet with China's 2nd aircraft carrier, according to recent reports.
As a unique type of warship in the aircraft carrier vessels battle groups (CVBG) of the PLA Navy, the ship has very advanced living support facilities including plastic runway, basketball court, gym, arena, Internet cafe and supermarket.
The ship is mainly used for accommodation for crew members, pilots, aviation crews and engineering and technical personnel during sea trial periods. It is a military quasi-luxury cruise ship.
The performance of the new barracks ship is similar to that of ship XuXiake (Hull 88), a China's first homegrown barracks ship commissioned in 2011.
XuXiake ship is about 219 meters long, 28 meters wide and has a draft of 8 meters with full loaded displacement of nearly 30,000 tons and maximum speed of 17 knots (1 knot equals to 1 nautical mile/hr), and its maximum range is 8,000 nautical miles.
In addition, XuXiake ship is equipped with two 57 mm twin-barreled naval guns, two 30 mm twin-barreled naval guns and two rockets launcher systems. The helicopter platform of the ship can carry one Z-8 medium transport helicopter.
The new barracks ship is designed to support 2,500 people for 30 days at sea before needing resupply.
It's known to all that its many global bases have helped the U.S. to have the most powerful aircraft carrier force in the world. The U.S. aircraft carriers can have supplies from the bases and the crews can also have rest periods on land during far sea training or combat.
China lacks overseas support bases and therefore constructing barracks ships is one of the solutions. Although a barracks ship cannot completely replace overseas base, it can reduce the aircraft carrier's requirements for land bases.
The combat effectiveness and cost-effectiveness ratio of the entire aircraft carrier battle groups can be enhanced through a combination of barracks ship and land base rotation. After all, the maintenance cost of an overseas base is far greater than that of a barracks ship.
The barracks ship can also be deployed as a training ship when necessary. XuXiake ship is equipped with a large number of simulators similar to those in Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. The sea trial data of the aircraft carrier Liaoning can be transmitted to various devices on the barracks ship through data links for trainees to carry out simultaneous simulation.
According to reports, XuXiake ship will undergo renovation as soon as the new barracks ship is commissioned. The new barracks ship will follow China's 2nd aircraft carrier to carry out sea trials and form rapid combat capability.