China's aircraft carrier begins sea trials

China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier leaves for sea trials

China's first entirely home-built aircraft carrier began sea trials Sunday in a sign of the growing sophistication of the country's domestic arms industry.

By comparison, the Liaoning is thought to now carry around 30 warplanes, including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The first - "Liaoning" - was built in 2012 on the base of the unfinished Soviet aircraft carrier "Varyag", bought from Ukraine in 1998.

Some Chinese media reports, however, said that the new carrier is created to be able to carry 36 aircraft - 12 more than the Liaoning that has been in service since 2012.

In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province for sea trials Sunday, May 13, 2018.

Chinese state media have been speculating that a third aircraft carrier is in the works, but the defence ministry has yet to confirm this.

The trials represent a landmark in Beijing's extensive project to modernize its navy as it continues to build up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around Taiwan, which it sees as its own territory.

The carrier was launched - moved into the water - in April previous year, the China Daily reported.

A few strong storms possible this evening
The National Weather Service said 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible in Madison before the rain ends on Mother's Day . The area of high pressure that's been our dominant weather feature through the week will start to break down a bit.

Few countries in the world have aircraft carriers.

The new carrier has a conventional propulsion system. The US has 11 carriers, all nuclear-powered.

Experts have said that the new carrier will have missions that differ from those of the Liaoning, which is mainly tasked with testing equipment and weapons and training personnel. The second Chinese aircraft carrier should therefore still carry 36 aircraft, including 24 J-15 fighters.

When commissioned, the yet to be named aircraft carrier will be the second one in the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN's) fleet. The ship will also carry several types of helicopters.

The new vessel, by comparison, will focus on what a genuine aircraft carrier is supposed to do like conducting combat-ready patrols and safeguarding China's maritime sovereignty and interests, the report said.

The vessel has more than 3,600 cabins.

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.

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