China's first domestically built aircraft carrier begins maiden sea trial

Blanche Robertson
May 14, 2018

Reports from Chinese state-run media today announced that that China's newest aircraft carrier left Dalian port in northeastern China for sea trials at around 6:45 a.m. Sunday, May 13.

The yet-to-be-christened warship set out at 7am local time from a dock at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) shipyard in China's Liaoning Province, according to local media reports.

China's Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website that the trial aims to demonstrate the "reliability and capability" of the ship's propulsion system, adding that its construction has been "proceeding as planned".

Testing combat ship project 001A held in Dalian.

Embarrassingly, for the United Kingdom, their new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, sprung a leak during its sea trials in 2017, and required repairs. The ship, when commissioned, will join China's other carrier, the Liaoning - a soviet era vessel procured from Ukraine in 2012 and celebrated as the realization of a "70-year-dream" by the Asian power.

The new ship will be the second aircraft carrier in the expanding Chinese Navy.

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He said he doesn't want a "huge" cabinet, in a veiled reference to past cabinets with more than 30 ministers. He said his four-party alliance will hold a meeting on Saturday to name the ministers.

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.

But it is still the USA that fields more aircraft carriers than any other country.

The ownership of a homegrown carrier locations China amongst the few military powers with such vessels, consisting of the United States, Russia and Britain. Building commenced in November 2013.

The Shandong has been fitted with a so-called ski-jump assisted Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) launch system also installed aboard the Liaoning.

Since taking office, Xi has driven an ambitious effort to modernise the country's military, reducing the traditional focus on readying the ground forces of the People's Liberation Army to defend against an invasion of the mainland and increasing the emphasis on technology-dependent naval, air and missile forces.

In addition, the carrier is first built on their own.

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