The Type 075 vehicle first launched in April, but starting sea trials is a major step in its development.
In addition to the two ships in trials, China has a third ship under construction that is expected to be delivered in early 2021, Newsweek reported.
The People’s Liberation Army has ordered a total of eight Type 075 ships. The first ship was assigned to the South Sea Fleet in August, with the trial lasting 19 days.
The tests focus on propulsion systems, navigation and communication.
Development of the Type 075 began in 2011, Naval News reported. After finally beginning construction, some experts have labeled China’s progress as a “world record” pace.
The Type 075 vehicle is a helicopter dock, and would provide a major step forward for China’s ambitions for the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea, the Global Times reported.
The dock can carry 30 attack helicopters and 900 troops, meaning that even if China completes all its ships, the Chinese military would likely need until the end of the decade to make the first ship fully operational.
However, the ships can also serve to help with disaster relief or humanitarian aid, according to a report by the Chinese Intelligence Services.