China to Start Trials for First Domestically Built Aircraft Carrier

China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier leaves for sea trials

China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier leaves for sea trials

Liaoning's propulsion system being in relatively good condition when the aircraft carrier was acquired, the Chinese engineers were able to re-use most of its design while making necessary improvements on the few original design defects.

China launched the new aircraft after it commissioned the first carrier the Liaoning, a refitted Soviet Union-made vessel in 2012.

Zhang Junshe, a researcher with the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said the Chinese Navy needs at least three aircraft carriers.

Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of Modern Ships magazine, said the new carrier's sea trials will be like those of the Liao-ning, and the total time needed for the trials may be slightly shorter than the Liao-ning's because Navy personnel have had experience obtained through the Liao-ning's operations.

The new aircraft carrier has an inclined ramp and can accommodate more aircraft than its predecessor.

China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier began inaugural sea trials on Sunday, in a display of the Asian giant's growing technological prowess and as it seeks to expand the reach of its navy further into the Pacific.

The new carrier has a conventional propulsion system.

The length of the aircraft carrier is 315 meters, beam - 75 meters, displacement - 50 thousand metric tons (70 thousand when fully loaded), operating speed - 31 nautical knots.

The aircraft carrier, which has been under construction since November 2013, was expected to enter service around 2020, but the People's Daily quoted an expert last month saying that it may be handed over to the navy as early as this year.

"With the Chinese carriers substantially inferior in capacity to the U.S. super-carriers, the balance of forces between the two navies will only change marginally rather than substantially", he added.

China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have claims to the South China Sea, while Beijing also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

The photos and videos released this morning also allow us to see that the anti-frogman grenade launching system of the second Chinese aircraft carrier has evolved from eight tubes to twelve tubes per system.

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.

Officials of the Navy said, several aspects of the new carrier are different from those on the Liaoning.

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