China began sea trials of the aircraft carrier, own production

China's sole operational aircraft carrier the Liaoning is a repurposed Soviet ship bought from Ukraine

China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier yesterday started sea trials, state media said, a landmark in Beijing's ambitious plans to modernize its navy as it presses its claims in disputed regional waters.

"Our country's second aircraft carrier set sail from its dock in the Dalian shipyard for relevant waters to conduct a sea trial mission, mainly to inspect and verify the reliability and stability of mechanical systems and other equipment", Reuters quoted the official Xinhua news agency as saying.

The vessel has the temporary name Type 001A and set out yesterday from Dalian after President Xi Jinping announced a "world-class" navy under the Chinese Communist Party's regime.

The Type 001A carrier, which has yet to be named, is expected to be commissioned by 2020. The length of the aircraft carrier is 315 meters, beam - 75 meters, displacement - 50 thousand metric tons (70 thousand when fully loaded), operating speed - 31 nautical knots.

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

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

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. Building commenced in November 2013.

China's "Type 001A" aircraft carrier will displace 55,000 tonnes and use conventional rather than nuclear propulsion, according to China's defence ministry. Like the older ship, it can carry some 40 planes.

The ship is China's latest attempt to assert its military might and follows a surge of investment from 2010 to 2017, when the Navy's ship complement increased from 210 to 320.

Prof Tsang added: "But for the rest of China's neighbours, the new carrier based doctrine of the People's Liberation Army is frightening, as none of them can remotely match China's new naval capabilities". However, a source close to the navy said it was "too early to estimate" when the new ship would be combat-ready.

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