China Launches Its First Home-Made Aircraft Carrier
(Source: China Military; issued April 26, 2017)
China's first locally-designed and built aircraft carrier is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony in Dalian shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. in Dalian, north-east China, on April 26, 2017. (Twitter photo)
DALIAN, China --- The launching ceremony of China's second aircraft carrier was held at the Dalian Shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation(CSIC) on the morning of April 26, 2017. Gen. Fan Changlong, member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) attended the ceremony and delivered a speech.
The ceremony was kicked off in magnificent national anthem at 9:00 and a bottle of champagne was broken on the aircraft carrier as a customary way of blessing the ship. After that, the new aircraft carrier was slowly towed out of the dockyard and transferred to the wharf.
The second aircraft carrier is domestically built by China. China started building it in November, 2013. At present, the main hull of this aircraft carrier has been completed and the main system devices including power supply have been installed in place.
Undocking and launching is one of the important nodes of a new aircraft carrier construction, marking that China has made significant phased achievements in designing and building an aircraft carrier independently. Next, the aircraft carrier will debug its system devices and conduct fitting-out as planned, and start mooring tests in an all-round way.
The PLA Navy Commander Shen Jinlong，PLA Navy Political Commissar Miao Hua, and CSIC President Hu Wenming also attended the ceremony.
China’s First Domestically-Built Aircraft Carrier Type 001A Hits the Water
(Source: China Global Television Network; posted April 26, 2017)
By Zhu Mei
China launched its first domestically constructed aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, on Wednesday morning at the Dalian shipyard in northeast China's Liaoning Province.
The new carrier was transferred from a dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony that started at about 9:00 a.m. at the shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC).
It is only China's second aircraft carrier, coming after the Liaoning, a refitted Soviet Union-made carrier that was put into commission in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in 2012.
China began building its second carrier in November 2013, and dock construction started in March 2015.
While the main body has been completed and major systems have been installed, the new carrier still needs to undergo equipment debugging, outfitting and comprehensive mooring trials.
But putting the carrier into water already marks a big step in China's efforts to design and build a domestic aircraft carrier.
The launch ceremony was attended by Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, as well as leaders of the PLA Navy and the CSIC.
Closing the gap
Though not yet officially disclosed, military enthusiasts in China have already identified some improvements made to the Type 001A.
According to unofficial pictures online, the Type 001A features a smaller island than the Liaoning, but that does not mean the new carrier has fewer functions. Improved integration may have helped reduce the island size, leaving more space for other things on the deck.
The radar on the island is fitted a little bit higher and the type of radar is also newer.
The total area of the deck and the size of the hangar are also larger, although the number of aircraft it can carry remains the same, according to information obtained by CGTN.
The Type 001A's performance is still expected to lag behind US-built, nuclear-powered competitors like the USS Carl Vinson, in terms of tonnage and aircraft-carrying capacity, among other things.
But it shows China's ability to build its own carriers. And with new core technology, the country will be able to further improve it and build more capable and innovative aircraft carriers.