World's attention on Dalian as China's first homegrown carrier officially launches

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/26 17:58:40

Tugboats pull China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier out of the shipyard at Dalian's port, Northeast China's Liaoning Province. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

People's Liberation Army Navy personnel line up to welcome the Type 001A. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The carrier is decorated with red flags. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The carrier is launched with tugboats sailing alongside it. Photo: Guo Yuandan/GT

Military enthusiasts wait eagerly for the carrier to be launched. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

At 9:20 am Wednesday morning, the world's attention was on the port of Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, where China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A was officially being launched.

This came three days after the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the day many people had originally expected the carrier to be launched. It took several days for the dry dock to be flooded with water.

The Type 001A is the country's second aircraft carrier, launching just over four years after the Liaoning, , China's first, came into official service. While the  Liaoning¸ a refitted Soviet vessel, is classified as a training ship for the PLAN, the Type 001A will be the military's first combat-ready carrier which can guarantee the effective use of air power.

However military experts estimate that the carrier will still need three years of development before it is fully ready for combat.

So far there are 23 aircraft carriers in service in 10 countries. The US has 10 nuclear powered "supercarriers" and Japan has 4 carriers capable of launching helicopters only.
Newspaper headline: Fortress Afloat

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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