China launches it first Chinese-built aircraft carrier
The Chinese have launched their first indigenous aircraft carrier, a major step for the People’s Liberation Army Navy amid current tensions in the South China Sea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, which took place in the Hainan Province of southern China.
Named the Shandong, the ship foregoes nuclear power for conventional propulsion and uses a ski-jump deck to help get its aircraft into the air.
The Shandong is the second carrier in China’s arsenal, following the Liaoning, a ship purchased from Ukraine in 1998.
From an analyst’s perspective, there is very little in the way of modern technology or innovation when examining the Shandong, which follows a lot of older design conventions and trends.
The carrier’s name was officially announced on Tuesday and was previously known as the Type 001A.
Chinese state-run media has lauded the new carrier as a major leap forward for the projection of China’s military power.
The Shandong can carry around 38-40 aircraft, ranging from Chinese copies of the Russian Flanker aircraft to several types of helicopters.
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