China launches first domestically built aircraft carrier

China launches first domestically built aircraft carrier

China launches first domestically built aircraft carrier

China was making final preparations to launch its first domestically built aircraft carrier as it marked the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy on Sunday.

Development of the new carrier began in 2013 and construction in late 2015.

The Chinese ship has become the second aircraft, which was produced by Beijing as it was launched in the port of Dalian, the Xinhua news agency reported.

China would maintain a "defensive" military policy and had "no intention to engage in any kind of expansion", he said.

But analysts like Li Jie, who has written about the nuclear-powered Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, said China has a long way to go before it achieves naval supremacy.

In the next phase, the carrier will start the outfitting process, the news release said. He suggested that there be at least three aircraft carriers operating in each sea.

India could be taken as a negative example for a buildup of aircraft carriers. The launch comes amid China's assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Where: China built the new carrier in the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning province.

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The launch came three days after the 68th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy on Sunday and against the backdrop of a rising China's efforts to beef up its navy to project the world's second largest economy's growing clout overseas.

The Chinese government's military buildup has unsettled its neighbors and Washington, particularly as Beijing has taken a more robust stance in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Previous reports said it would be operational by 2020.

Like the 60,000-ton Liaoning, which was purchased from Ukraine, the new carrier is based on the Soviet Kuznetsov' class design, with a ski jump-style flight deck and an oil-fueled steam turbine power plant.

Its speed and the capability to spend time at sea is comparable to USA nuclear-powered carriers.

The main body of the carrier has been completed, with major systems equipment, including propulsion and electricity, installed. Next up are mooring tests and the debugging of its electronic systems, China's Defense Ministry said. It will be more like a USA aircraft carrier rather than a Russian one.

India's carriers - the Vikramaditya now in service and the upcoming Vikrant - weigh around 40,000 tons and can deploy 30 aircraft, while the largest and most capable "aviation-capable" vessel of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force is the Izumo-class 27,000-tonne "helicopter destroyer" that carries less than a dozen helicopters.

China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places.

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