Aircraft carrier finishes first sea trials, expected to boost air supremacy

Global Times
Li Jiayao

China's first domestically built aircraft carrier has reportedly completed all its first sea trials, with experts saying the result was satisfying and provided a good base for upcoming further trials on Thursday.

The sea trial results for the ship, known as the Type 001A, have been successful, revealed by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) Chairman Hu Wenming said on Tuesday, according to the company's official website.

The carrier set off for first sea trials from the Dalian Shipyard in Northeast China's Liaoning Province on May 13 to test its power, drive, and electrical systems, including control and communications equipment.

The success marks that China has made a record by independently building a domestic aircraft carrier and finishing first sea trials in such a short time, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.

It would take another six months to one year before the ship is delivered to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, Song said, while noting "we don't need to rush it because the more tests it takes now the better it performs later."

CSIC has also made major headway in manufacturing new equipment and applying new technologies, Hu was quoted as saying by the news site on Wednesday.

The PLA used to lack air supremacy in the South China Sea and on the high seas, Song said, adding the aircraft carrier could overcome the shortage.

The ship is China's second aircraft carrier after the Liaoning, and its construction began in 2013, People's Daily website reported.

The aircraft carrier is a milestone that shifted PLA Navy's strategy from offshore to high seas, Song added, saying China would have three aircraft carrier fleets between 2020 to 2022 and possibly up to six in the future.


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