China has taken a historic step in its bid to build a navy that rivals the world's finest by sending the country's first domestically built aircraft out for sea trials.
China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier began inaugural sea trials on Sunday, in a display of the Asian giant's growing technological prowess and as it seeks to expand the reach of its navy further into the Pacific.
The aircraft carrier, as yet unnamed, left its berth at a shipyard in the northeastern port of Dalian after a blow of its horn and a display of fireworks, according to reports in state news media.
The carrier was launched - moved into the water - in April previous year, the China Daily reported.
Though Liaoning has become operational, it is being mostly used for research and improvements for the new carriers China plans to build. The new Chinese carrier can neither sale for longer without refueling than the above mentioned US carriers, nor can it carry as many planes.
"Aircraft carriers are for power projection and for domination, and this is just the first of several more indigenous carriers". Chinese experts have said that the missions for the new carrier will be different from those for the Liaoning, which is mainly tasked with testing equipment and weapons as well as training personnel.
Little is known about China's aircraft program which is a state secret, according to the news wire.
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The bungalows of both the RJD leaders have been decorated with imported flowers while green chillies and lemons were tied at several points to ward off the evil eye.
The new carrier has a conventional propulsion system.
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.
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.
The vessel has more than 3,600 cabins.
Note that the report from national television channel CCTV-13 revealed the name of the commanding officer of the new aircraft carrier: Rear Admiral LAI Yi Jun (来 奕 军), former commander of the 8th Frigate Flotilla and captain of the 522 Lianyungang frigate (Type 053H3).
For example, the island of Type 002 is shorter in length than Liaoning's, which gives a slightly larger surface area on the flight deck, but not enough to justify a more substantial allocation of aircraft.