China's aircraft carrier begins sea trials

Larry Hoffman
May 14, 2018

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier to begin sea trials on Sunday, reaching another milestone in the expansion of the country's navy.

The provider, understood just as "Type 001A", set out for the trials from a port in northeastern China at around 6.45 am (2245 GMT Saturday), inning accordance with state broadcaster CCTV.

It is the first time the ship's engine, propulsion and navigation systems would be tested at sea, a year after it first took to the water at its official launch, state media said.

The vessel has the temporary name Type 001A and set out yesterday from Dalian after President Xi Jinping announced a "world-class" navy under the Chinese Communist Party's regime. The aircraft carrier "Liaoning", created on the basis of the modified cruiser "Varyag" - Soviet production, has become like for Shandong.

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

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.

A third aircraft carrier is being built in Shanghai, according to state media, although the Defense Ministry has yet to confirm this.

The new aircraft carrier has an inclined ramp and can accommodate more aircraft than its predecessor. Besides India, the US, Russia, the UK, France, Italy, Thailand and China operate a total of 18 aircraft carriers. China previous year established its first overseas military base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, where rivals such as the U.S., Japan and several European nations also have a permanent presence.

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.

This gives them an advantage over the Chinese planes, which rely on their own power and the ski-jump designs on both carriers.

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.

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