China's New Aircraft Carrier Heads Out for Sea Trials

China's newly-built aircraft carrier Liaoning is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony at a shipyard in Dalian

China's newly-built aircraft carrier Liaoning is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony at a shipyard in Dalian

China 's first ever domestically manufactured aircraft carrier began sea trials Sunday, as it set off from Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

The trials are meant to test the reliability and stability of its power system, Xinhua said.

The new warship is an upgrade to the Liaoning, China's only operational aircraft carrier, a retrofitted Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class multi-role vessel.

The possession of a native aircraft carrier places China among the few military powers with such vessels, including the United States, Russia, Britain and India.

The Type 001A, however, was built from scratch in China. The country reportedly plans to have four aircraft carriers by 2030 to operate from the disputed South China Sea as well as the Indian Ocean.

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, arrived as a mostly empty hull from Ukraine and was commissioned in 2012 along with its flight wing of Chinese J-15 fighter jets.


Construction on the Type 001A, the largest and most sophisticated naval vessel in China, began in November 2013 and work in the dry dock started in March 2015. The length of the aircraft carrier is 315 meters, beam - 75 meters, displacement - 50 thousand metric tons (70 thousand when fully loaded), operating speed - 31 nautical knots.

China's "Type 001A" aircraft carrier will displace 55,000 tonnes and use conventional rather than nuclear propulsion, according to China's defence ministry.

Since taking office, Xi has driven an ambitious effort to modernise the country's military, reducing the traditional focus on readying the ground forces of the People's Liberation Army to defend against an invasion of the mainland and increasing the emphasis on technology-dependent naval, air and missile forces.

It is the very first time the provider's engine, propulsion and navigation systems will be evaluated at sea, state media stated, a year after the vessel initially required to the water at its main launch.

Chinese experts have said that the missions for the new carrier will be different from those for the Liaoning, which is mainly tasked with testing equipment and weapons as well as training personnel.

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