China's first domestically built aircraft carrier begins sea trials

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The carrier was launched - moved into the water - in April previous year, the China Daily reported. The new Chinese carrier can neither sale for longer without refueling than the above mentioned USA carriers, nor can it carry as many planes. That ship joined the Chinese fleet in 2012 and began its first operations four years later, putting China in the small group of seafaring powers that maintain aircraft carriers, led by the United States, which has 11.

The new carrier's design draws on experiences from China's first carrier, the Liaoning, bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

Zhang Junshe, a researcher with the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said the Chinese Navy needs at least three aircraft carriers.

The vessel - temporarily named Type 001A - was sent out for sea trials at 7am today as President Xi Jinping pushes ahead with modernisation in the country's Navy.

The new ship began in 2013.

Now the country only has a retrofitted Soviet-era aircraft carrier called the Liaoning, which was launched in 2012.

AFP reports that a third air-craft carrier is widely speculated to be in the early phase of construction, but that Beijing has yet to confirm such reports. This new steam propulsion system has been fitted on Type 002.

The vessel is the country's second aircraft carrier.

"With the Chinese carriers substantially inferior in capacity to the USA super-carriers, the balance of forces between the two navies will only change marginally rather than substantially", he said. For example, the new ship's island is shorter and the landing section is longer. Once it is in service, it will be able to accommodate China's Shenyang J-15 fighter jets.

The photos and videos released this morning also allow us to see that the anti-frogman grenade launching system of the second Chinese aircraft carrier has evolved from eight tubes to twelve tubes per system.

The new carrier's name and hull code remain unknown as the People's Liberation Army Navy usually makes public such information only once a ship is commissioned.

The new vessel, by comparison, will focus on what a genuine aircraft carrier is supposed to do like conducting combat-ready patrols and safeguarding China's maritime sovereignty and interests, the report said.

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