China's First Home-Built Aircraft Carrier Started Sea Trials

China's sole operational aircraft carrier the Liaoning is a repurposed Soviet ship bought from Ukraine

China's state media says the country's first domestically-built aircraft carrier has started sea performance tests.

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

The country's first carrier, the Liaoning, was bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998, refitted in China, and commissioned in 2012.

Naval experts said the Chinese engineers and designers who built the ship had studied the most advanced military technology used by the Americans, as well as the former Soviet Union, and tried to incorporate it into the new ship to meet the practical needs of the PLA Navy.

In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province for sea trials Sunday, May 13, 2018.

Reports said China is already building its third aircraft carrier in Shanghai. Beijing has also been beefing up its presence in the disputed South China Sea, where it has disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

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The second Chinese aircraft carrier should be delivered to the PLAN by September 2019 according to Eastpendulum. The new Chinese carrier can neither sale for longer without refueling than the above mentioned US carriers, nor can it carry as many planes. The US is the largest operator, with 11 nuclear-powered carriers, each having a full-load displacement of about 100,000 tons.

The Shandong will be able to carry up to 24 Shenyang J-15 multirole fighter jets, a variant of the fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engines air superiority fighter, as well as around ten rotary wing aircraft including Changshe Z-18, Ka-31, or Harbin Z-9 helicopters.

The new vessel, by comparison, will focus on what a genuine aircraft carrier is supposed to do like conducting combat-ready patrols and safeguarding China's maritime sovereignty and interests, the report said. This new steam propulsion system has been fitted on Type 002.

The vessel has more than 3,600 cabins.

China has sent its first home-built aircraft carrier for sea trials as the Communist government attempts to assert its military might on the world stage.

The new carrier has more than 12,000 pieces of equipment that were made by 532 Chinese enterprises, including many private firms, according to officials from China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.

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