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  • By The Financial District

China Launches Its First Aircraft Carrier Not Based On Russian Design

Beijing launched a new-generation aircraft carrier on Friday, June 17, 2022, the first of its kind to be designed and built in China, marking a watershed moment in the country's efforts to expand the range and power of its navy, David Rising and Ken Moritsugu reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: The Type 003 carrier christened Fujian

According to state media, the Type 003 carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard outside Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier. CCTV showed navy personnel gathered beneath the massive ship as water jets sprayed over its deck, multi-colored streamers flew, and colorful smoke was released.

The ship’s capabilities are thought to rival those of Western carriers. Beijing seeks to turn its navy, already the world’s largest, into a multi-carrier force even as the structural integrity of its ships has been doubted.

China has no considerable experience in naval battles and was never a maritime power for the past 2,000 years. Operating an advanced aircraft carrier requires billions of dollars annually, particularly for China, which has seen a number of fatal plane crashes lately as most of its aircraft designs are based on Soviet warplanes.

China’s first carrier was a repurposed Soviet ship, and its second was built in China but based upon a Soviet design. Both were built to employ a so-called “ski-jump” launch method for aircraft, with a ramp at the end of the short runway to help planes take off. The new ship has a catapult system similar to that used by the US.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Satellite imagery captured by Planet Labs PBC on Thursday and analyzed by AP showed the carrier in what appeared to be a fully flooded drydock at the Jiangnan Shipyard, near Shanghai, ready for launch.

It was draped with red bunting, presumably in preparation for the launch ceremony.

Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

“This is an important milestone for China’s military-industrial complex,” said Ridzwan Rahmat, a Singapore-based analyst with the defense intelligence company Janes.

“This shows that Chinese engineers are now able to indigenously manufacture the full suite of surface combatants associated with modern naval warfare, including corvettes, frigates, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and now an aircraft carrier,” he said.

“This ability to construct a very complex warship from the ground up will inevitably result in various spin-offs and benefits for the Chinese shipbuilding industry.”

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