Tidal current energy is prominent and renewable. Great progress has been made in the exploitation technology of tidal current energy all over the world in recent years, and the large scale device has become the trend of tidal current turbine (TCT) for its economies. Instead of the similarity to the wind turbine, the tidal turbine has the characteristics of high hydrodynamic efficiency, big thrust, reliable sealing system, tight power transmission structure, etc. In this paper, a 1/5th scale horizontal axis tidal current turbine has been designed, manufactured and tested before the full scale device design. Firstly, the three-blade horizontal axis rotor was designed based on traditional blade element momentum theory and its hydrodynamic performance was predicted in numerical model. Then the power train system and stand-alone electrical control unit of tidal current turbine, whose performances were accessed through the bench test carried out in workshop, were designed and presented. Finally, offshore tests were carried out and the power performance of the rotor was obtained and compared with the published literatures, and the results showed that the power coefficient was satisfactory, which agrees with the theoretical predictions.