China launches first domestically made aircraft carrier

Al Jazeera April, 26, 2017

Newly built 50,000-tonne carrier demonstrates the growing technical sophistication of China’s defence industries.

The newly built carrier was transferred from dry dock into the water in Dalian [Li Gang/Xinhua via AP]
The newly built carrier was transferred from dry dock into the water in Dalian [Li Gang/Xinhua via AP]

China has launched its first domestically made aircraft carrier, in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defence industries.

The 50,000-tonne carrier was towed from its dockyard on Wednesday morning after a ceremony in the northern port city of Dalian.

Development of the new carrier began in 2013 and construction commenced in late 2015. It is expected to be formally commissioned some time before 2020, after sea trials and the arrival of its full air complement.

Reports of the launch said a bottle of champagne was broken across the ship’s bow and other craft in the port sounded their horns in celebration.

Like the 60,000-tonne Liaoning aircraft carrier, which was purchased from the Ukraine, the new carrier is based on the Soviet Kuznetsov class design, with a ski jump-style deck for taking off and a conventional oil-fuelled steam turbine power plant.

The oil-fuelled 50,000-tonne carrier is based on the Soviet Kuznetsov class design, with a ski jump-style deck for taking off [Li Gang/Xinhua via AP]

The design limits the weight of payloads its planes can carry, its speed and the amount of time it can spend at sea compared with US nuclear-powered carriers.

The main hull of the new carrier has been completed and its power supply put into place. Next up are mooring tests and the debugging of its electronic systems, the defence ministry said.

China is believed to be planning to build at least two – and possibly as many as four – additional carriers, with one of them, the Type 002, reported to be already under construction at a shipyard outside Shanghai.

They are expected to be closer in size to the US Navy’s nuclear-powered 100,000-tonne Nimitz class ships, with flat flight decks and catapults to allow planes to launch with more bombs and fuel aboard.

READ MORE: South China Sea – Weapons systems installed on islands

China has offered little information about the roles it expects its carriers to play, although its planning appears to be evolving as it gains more experience.

The Liaoning was initially touted mainly as an experimental and training platform, but in December was declared to be combat-ready and has taken part in live-firing exercises in the South China Sea, where tensions have risen over China’s construction of man-made islands complete with airstrips and military structures.

Source: News agencies

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This entry was posted in Biển Đông (SCS), China, China military and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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