China launches first domestically-made aircraft carrier

May 14, 2018, 05:11
China launches first domestically-made aircraft carrier

Reports from Chinese state-run media today announced that that China's newest aircraft carrier left Dalian port in northeastern China for sea trials at around 6:45 a.m. Sunday, May 13.

The ship, which is roughly 315 meters (1,033 ft) in length and 75 meters (246 ft) wide, uses conventional rather than nuclear propulsion, and is believed to displace 50,000 tonnes, according to reports in state media.

It is China's second aircraft carrier following the purchase of the Soviet-built Liaoning from Ukraine in 1998.

It is the country's second aircraft carrier.

Now the country only has a retrofitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier called the Liaoning, which was launched in 2012.

Construction on the latest carrier has been carried out as planned since it was launched in April a year ago, and equipment debugging, outfitting and mooring tests have been completed to make it ready for the trial mission at sea, the Xinhua reported.

In March it sailed through the Taiwan Strait, prompting Taipei to dispatch ships and planes to track the vessel, on the same day that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against what he called any attempts to split China.

Construction on the new ship started in November 2013.

The Type 001A carrier, which has yet to be named, is expected to be commissioned by 2020.

But CNN reports the new vessel still won't be enough to rival the United States, but will boost the navy's standing in Asia.

The ship is China's latest attempt to assert its military might and follows a surge of investment from 2010 to 2017, when the Navy's ship complement increased from 210 to 320. China previous year established its first overseas military base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, where rivals such as the U.S., Japan and several European nations also have a permanent presence.

China vigorously develops the program for naval armaments and reinforces the group in the Pacific region.

The ship, the largest and most sophisticated naval vessel in China, was designed and built by the nation on its own. However, a source close to the navy said it was "too early to estimate" when it would be combat ready.

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