World News

China's aircraft carrier begins sea trials

China's aircraft carrier begins sea trials

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 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. The trials are meant to test the reliability and stability of its power system, Xinhua said.

The news of the carrier's first trip away from port comes on the heels of another significant accomplishment of China's military modernization program; the successful flight tests of China's J-20 stealth fighter jets, reported on Thursday May, 10.

The new carrier will be capable of transporting about 40 aircraft, and is reportedly modeled on the first, and now only Chinese aircraft carrier in active service, the Liaoning, a re-purposed Soviet aircraft carrier, put into service in 2012.

Local media say the Chinese-built carrier may be handed over to the military as early as in the latter half of this year.

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

The 50,000-ton carrier will likely be formally commissioned sometime before 2020 following the completion of sea trials and the arrival of its full air complement.

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

The conventional-fuel-powered vessel is about 300 meters long.

However it would still be no match in size or variety to the nuclear-powered vessels of the United States Navy, which has 11 providers.

The Liaoning has conducted a series of manoeuvres with dozens of other ships, submarines and aircraft in the South China Sea in recent weeks.

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 has the world's largest navy in terms of numbers of ships, although it lags behind the U.S.in technology and combat capabilities.


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