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.
Reports said China is also building its third aircraft carrier in Shanghai. First aircraft carrier - the Liaoning was bought from Ukraine, completed and modernized. However, despite these efforts, they would still be no match in size or range to the nuclear-powered vessels of the United States Navy, which has 11 carriers.
The new aircraft carrier weighs 50,000 tonnes and analysis of recent satellite images suggest that modifications have been made for the ship to transport an additional eight aircraft.
In Hong Kong media claimed that the Chinese Navy a year ago began construction of a third aircraft carrier, equipped with modern catapult for faster take-off aircraft on the basis of the electromagnetic system.
The still-unnamed carrier was launched this time previous year but since then has been undergoing fitting of weapons and other systems and has not yet entered service.
The new ship began in 2013, the ceremony of descent to water was held in April 2017.
But it is still the U.S. that fields more aircraft carriers than any other country.
Its predecessor was intended more as a training base, but the new ship is likely to be deployed for combat, putting China alongside the USA, the UK, Russia and France in its global capability.
Some reports said China is also planning to build a nuclear aircraft carrier. The ship's chief engineering commander, Hu Wenming, told the broadcaster the carrier was smaller than US carriers' Nimitz class.
China has sent its first home-built aircraft carrier for sea trials as the Communist government attempts to assert its military might on the world stage.
Naval experts said the Chinese engineers and designers who built the ship had studied the most advanced military technology used by the Americans, as well as the former Soviet Union, and tried to incorporate it into the new ship to meet the practical needs of the PLA Navy.
Once this latest addition passes sea trials, it will need to be further vetted before it is deemed combat-ready.
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