losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018

China's first locally made aircraft carrier starts trials at sea

14 May 2018, 05:13 | Katrina Lee

China's newly-built aircraft carrier Liaoning is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony at a shipyard in Dalian

China's newly-built aircraft carrier Liaoning is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony at a shipyard in Dalian

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.

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, arrived as a mostly empty hull from Ukraine and was commissioned in 2012 along with its flight wing of Chinese J-15 fighter jets.

The vessel is the country's second aircraft carrier.

Unlike the Liaoning, which primarily serves as test platforms for Chinese carrier-based naval aviation and technology demonstrator, the Shandong is expected to be operationally deployed and serve in the PLA Navy's North Sea Fleet or East Sea Fleet after its commissioning.

As of now the vessel remains a ship with no name and is presently referred to as Type 001A.

But CNN reports the new vessel still won't be enough to rival the United States, but will boost the navy's standing in Asia.

Little is known about China's aircraft program which is a state secret, according to the news wire.

Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of Modern Ships magazine, said the new carrier's sea trials will be like those of the Liao-ning, and the total time needed for the trials may be slightly shorter than the Liao-ning's because Navy personnel have had experience obtained through the Liao-ning's operations.

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Testing combat ship project 001A held in Dalian.

China's defence budget plan increased 8.1 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan ($175 billion) in 2018, however it is still just about one-quarter that of the United States.

Neither of the two vessels is nuclear-powered; instead, they use conventional oil-fueled steam turbine power plants for propulsion.

China and India have been seen to rapidly modernise their militaries, especially the navy, which both countries believe will play a crucial role in the Indian-ocean and Indo-Pacific regions.

China has devoted more spending for its military in recent years.

The ship, the largest and most sophisticated naval vessel in China, was designed and built by the nation on its own.

China has made no secret of its desire to build a modern, "blue-water" navy which could operate around the world.

American sea power is expected to continue dominating over the next 10 years, but China is fast developing capabilities to maintain presence in distant waters.

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