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

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

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

The Xinhua news agency reports that the new aircraft carrier set sail for the trials from a port in the northeastern city of Dalian, Liaoning Province, on Sunday.

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 Type 001A, however, was built from scratch in China. 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 vessel will become the countrys second aircraft carrier, and the first to be entirely built and designed inside of China, when it joins the navy sometime before 2020.

The state-run China Daily newspaper reported Sunday that the new ship will do what a carrier "is supposed to do: running combat-ready patrols and safeguarding the nation's maritime sovereignty and interests".

The ownership of a homegrown carrier locations China amongst the few military powers with such vessels, consisting of the United States, Russia and Britain.

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India's INS Vikrant, which was launched in 2013 and is expected to go to sea trial in December 2018, is the country's first self-made aircraft carrier.

However, it would still be no match in size or range to the nuclear-powered vessels of the US Navy, which has 11 aircraft carriers.

It has finished the outfitting process, where engineers installed and fine-tuned all of the ship's interior equipment and weapons, the report said.

The trials represent a landmark in Beijing's extensive project to modernize its navy as it continues to build up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around Taiwan, which it sees as its own territory.

China previous year established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, and its navy has recently deployed its ships further into the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The ship is China's latest attempt to assert its military might and follows a surge of investment from 2010 to 2017, when the Navy's ship complement increased from 210 to 320.

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