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China's 1st domestically built aircraft carrier starts sea trials

China's 1st domestically built aircraft carrier starts sea trials

The Chinese Navy started sea trials of aircraft carrier of its own production of the Type 001A, Xinhua reported.

This comes on the back of a speech given on April 12 by Chinese President Xi Jinping announcing the Chinese Communist Party planned on building a "world-class" navy.

It is China's second aircraft carrier following the purchase of the Soviet-built Liaoning from Ukraine in 1998.

Few countries in the world have aircraft carriers.

Most experts agree that developing such a force will be a decades-long endeavor for China, but progress on the home-built carrier holds a certain prestige value for Beijing, seen by many analysts as keen to eventually erode USA military prominence in the region.

The conventional-fuel-powered vessel is about 300 meters long.

Speaking to CNN, RAND Corporation senior global defense research analyst Timothy Heath described the design as generally easier to build and to operate aircraft from.

The new aircraft carrier has an inclined ramp and can accommodate more aircraft than its predecessor.

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By comparison, the Liaoning is thought to now carry around 30 warplanes, including fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

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.

The vessel will become the countrys second aircraft carrier, and the first to be entirely built and designed inside of China, when it joins the navy sometime before 2020.

The 65, ooo-ton Type 001A carrier was launched at the DSIC shipyard in April 2017. Other state news outlets showed undated photos of a fog-shrouded carrier just off of its dock. It's the latest development in Beijing's mission to modernize its military.

By comparison, the active U.S. fleet now sits at approximately 272 ships, he said.

Sunday morning began in China with state broadcaster CCTV relaying footage of the vessel embarking into the blue on a rather gray day.

China vigorously develops the program for naval armaments and reinforces the group in the Pacific region.

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.