Global

China is conducting trials of an aircraft carrier of its own design

China is conducting trials of an aircraft carrier of its own design

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

The aircraft carrier "Liaoning", created on the basis of the modified cruiser "Varyag" - Soviet production, has become like for Shandong.

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

The new carrier has more than 12,000 pieces of equipment that were made by 532 Chinese enterprises including many private firms, the report said.

But expert analysis of pictures and satellite images of the new China-built vessel reveals it has been altered in subtle ways, possibly allowing it to accommodate up to eight additional aircraft. 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 only has one aircraft carrier (pictured, the ship at its 2007 launch), which is called the Liaoning.

But in parallel they also designed a new steam propulsion system, which development was already completed in 2009, which was originally intended for a future CATOBAR aircraft carrier.

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The colossal vessel, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, left the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry's shipyard in Liaoning province about 7 am amid thick fog with the assistance of several tugboats before navigating into the sea under its own power.

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.

The new carrier has a conventional propulsion system. Chinese media reported that up to 36 Shenyang J-15 fighters can be based aboard.

On the background of strengthening the position of the Chinese Navy, Japan is studying the possibility of construction of the first since the Second world war aircraft carrier.

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.

The PLA Navy has not officially announced a commissioning date yet for the carrier, although there is some speculation that it will take place in the last quarter of 2018.


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