China readies its first home-made aircraft carrier
In a development that could be a concern for its rivals and competitors, China's first indigenously built aircraft-carrier set out to test the waters from a port outside the Dalian shipyard in Liaoning province in eastern China on Sunday, May 13.
According to experts, the carrier is likely to be delivered to the naval wing of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) by the end of 2018, Global Times reported.
The massive vessel started from Dalian early in the morning and was accompanied by several tug boats, Global Times reported, adding that fireworks were also on display along with a fully blown horn of the carrier. Local people and tourists also assembled at the port to capture moments of the carrier's maiden outing.
The trials at the sea are being monitored by the shipbuilder and will see examination of the ship's systems like power, communication, fire safety and other technical functions, the Global Times quoted military sources as saying.
The PLA Daily said on Sunday that the inaugural sea trial of the aircraft carrier will see testing of the reliability and stability of the ship's power systems, the Global Times report added.
Though the first built domestically, the latest ship is China's second aircraft carrier which has been built since 2013. The first carrier is Liaoning or Type 001 which was bought from Ukraine and refitted at the Dalian shipyard, Global Times reported.
The new ship has been dubbed as 'Type 001A' because of its design which is modelled on Liaoning but neither the builder nor the PLA has designated it any name so far, the Global Times report also added.