China's first domestically built aircraft carrier begins sea trials

China's first domestically built aircraft carrier begins sea trials

China's first domestically developed aircraft carrier left its north-eastern port to begin sea trials yesterday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country's efforts to modernise its military.

But our colleagues from Eastpendulum are reporting that Notification LN-0103 (辽 航 警 0103), issued by the Chinese Maritime Security Administration two days ago, seems to have given some information on these points, as it was already the case for the sea trials of Liaoning aircraft carrier in August 2011. First aircraft carrier - the Liaoning was bought from Ukraine, completed and modernized.

The Xinhua news agency reports that the new aircraft carrier set sail for the trials from a port in the northeastern city of Dalian, Liaoning Province, on Sunday.

Chinese state media have been speculating that a third aircraft carrier is in the works, but the defence ministry has yet to confirm this.

The carrier's maiden sea trial follows a speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 12, in which he announced plans to build a "world-class" navy under the banner of the Chinese Communist Party.

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The 50,000-tonne ship will become the country's second aircraft carrier and the first to be entirely built and designed inside of China when it joins the navy sometime before 2020.

The conventional-fuel-powered vessel is about 300 meters long. As of this year it fields 11 nuclear-powered carriers with "catapult" technology, in which pistons or electromagnetic rails speed aircraft up as they leave the runway. 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. Once it is in service, it will be able to accommodate China's Shenyang J-15 fighter jets. The ship also will carry several types of helicopters.

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.

For example, the island of Type 002 is shorter in length than Liaoning's, which gives a slightly larger surface area on the flight deck, but not enough to justify a more substantial allocation of aircraft.

Little is known about China's aircraft program which is a state secret, according to the news wire.

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