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China's first home-grown aircraft carrier launches

China's first home-grown aircraft carrier launches

China's first domestically developed aircraft carrier has left for its sea trials on Sunday, the country's official media announced here.

This May 9, 2018, photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency shows China's aircraft carrier Liaoning at a shipyard in Dalian. First aircraft carrier - the Liaoning was bought from Ukraine, completed and modernized.

Some Chinese media reports, however, said that the new carrier is created to be able to carry 36 aircraft - 12 more than the Liaoning that has been in service since 2012.

Sam Roggeveen, senior fellow at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said: 'This is, in and of itself, not created to be some frontal challenge to U.S. power in the Asia Pacific, because it simply isn't in the class of America's aircraft carriers'.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious plan to update the armed forces as China ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea.

Lai is reported to have been captain of CNS Lianyungang guided-missile frigate, commander of a frigate flotilla and then executive officer of CNS Liaoning aircraft carrier.

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Like the older ship, it can carry some 40 planes.

Few countries in the world have aircraft carriers. 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. This new steam propulsion system has been fitted on Type 002.

Unlike the Liaoning, which primarily serves as test platforms for Chinese carrier-based naval aviation and technology demonstrator, the Shandong is expected to be operationally deployed and serve in the PLA Navy's North Sea Fleet or East Sea Fleet after its commissioning.

The US is the largest operator as it runs 11 nuclear-powered carriers with each having a full-load displacement of about 100,000 tonnes. Once it is in service, it will be able to accommodate China's Shenyang J-15 fighter jets. For example, the new ship's island is shorter and the landing section is longer.

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

The new carrier's name and hull code remain unknown as the People's Liberation Army Navy usually makes public such information only once a ship is commissioned.


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