China launches high-tech aircraft carrier in naval milestone

China launched a next-generation aircraft carrier on Friday. It is the first ship of its type to be both designed and built in China. It marks a major milestone for the country as it seeks to bolster its navy.

According to Chinese state media, the Type 003 aircraft carrier, named Fujian, left the place where it was built outside Shanghai on Friday morning.

The Type 003 ship is also believed to be Advanced as western carriers. China is seeking to transform its navy – already the largest in the world – into a multi-carrier force.

Ridzwan Rahmat is a Singapore-based researcher for defense intelligence firm Janes. He said: “It’s an important part Milestone for the Chinese military-industrial complex.

He said the ship demonstrates that Chinese engineers are now capable of manufacturing all the combat equipment that makes up modern naval warfare. He added that the ability to build a very complex warship will bring other advantages for the Chinese shipbuilding industry.

China’s first aircraft carrier was a converted Soviet ship. His second was built in China but based on a Soviet design.

The Type 003 uses a launch system known as catapult launch. China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that the catapult launch is an electromagnetic-type system. This system was first developed by the US Navy.

Rahmat said the system will allow the ship to launch more types of aircraft, which is needed for China to expand its naval power.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, colorful smoke marks the launching ceremony of China’s third aircraft carrier named Fujian in Shanghai on Friday, June 17, 2022. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (or PLAN) Navy has been working for many years to become a force capable of operating around the world rather than near the Chinese mainland.

The PLAN currently has about 355 ships, including submarines. US experts estimate the force will grow to 420 ships by 2025 and 460 ships by 2030.

In its report to the US Congress last year on China’s military capabilities, the Defense Department said the aircraft carrier development program was very important for the development of the Chinese navy. He said the program will allow Chinese naval operations to go beyond East Asia in “increasingly ranges.”

In recent years, China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean, Western Pacific and beyond. It also established its first overseas base in the African nation of Djibouti, where the United States, Japan and other countries also have a military presence.

China recently signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, a nation in the Pacific Ocean. Some observers fear the deal will give China a military camp in the South Pacific.

China is also expanding a port ease in Cambodia, which could give it a presence in the Gulf of Thailand.

Now that it is launched, the aircraft carrier will have to be equipped with the necessary equipment. The process could take two to six months. Then there will be port acceptance tests and sea trials, which can take another six months. The next step will involve engineers launching test loads using the catapult system.

Rahmat said: “The first aircraft will not be launched from this carrier maybe at the end of 2023 to 2024, and fully operational. aptitude will likely be declared closer to 2025.”

I am Jill Robbins.

Tom Krisher reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.

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words in this story

Advanced – adj. far down a path of progress or development

Milestone – nm an important point in the progress or development of something

benefit to – nm the ability to do something

beyond – nm a good or useful result or effect

interval – nm the distance at which someone or something can see, hear or reach someone or something else

ease – nm something (like a building or a large piece of equipment) that is constructed for a specific purpose

port – nm a part of the ocean or lake which adjoins land and which is protected and deep enough to ensure the safety of ships

aptitude – nm the ability to do something

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