China's Home-Built Carrier Ready for Launch

TOKYO --- China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier will soon launch at Dalian for drills and trial voyages, putting to the test proprietary technology meant to further Beijing's expansion in the South and East China seas.

A dock at a shipyard in the Liaoning Province city was apparently filled with water Sunday in preparation for the launch. The Chinese-made vessel is expected to enter service around 2020, joining China's first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Ukrainian vessel known as the Liaoning.

The new ship, like its predecessor, will be conventionally propelled, as opposed to nuclear-powered, and feature a sloped flight deck known as a ski jump for aircraft takeoff. It is somewhat smaller than the Liaoning, with a displacement of around 50,000 tons compared to around 67,000 tons.

Chinese media report the new vessel is designed to have more space for aircraft than the Liaoning, by some estimates letting the ship hold as many as 36 fighter jets, or 50% more than its predecessor. While the new carrier "differs little from the Liaoning as far as outward appearances go, its operational capabilities are vastly superior," Chinese military expert Liang Fang told state-run China Central Television.

The new vessel is expected to operate mainly in the South China Sea alongside the Liaoning, which in December held its second set of exercises in those contested waters since entering service. Adding another ship would enable an aircraft carrier to remain present there while the other is in for maintenance. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Nikkei website.


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China's Home-Built Carrier Ready for Launch China's Home-Built Carrier Ready for Launch Reviewed by Defense Alert on 09:56:00 Rating: 5

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