China’s second sea-borne aircraft carrier on Monday started a fresh round of trials at sea. The 50,000-tonne warship headed out from its base at the Dalian.
The warship will undergo a series of tests before it is commissioned, possibly in 2019.
China, like India, operates one carrier — the Liaoning. A carrier can launch fighter jets from its deck and extend the arc of operations of these jets.
India has one operational carrier — the INS Vikramaditya — and has more than 50 years of experience in operating such warships that require complex technologies. China started operating one just four years ago.
Beijing’s upcoming aircraft carrier means it will soon have a two-carrier Navy. Both countries are literally racing to have, by 2020, at least two carriers in their respective fleets.
China’s second carrier will rival the INS Vikrant (also known as the IAC-1), which will be New Delhi’s second carrier. Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had in December 2017 announced that the INS Vikrant would be ready for induction by 2020.
The project has been delayed by years — it should have been commissioned by 2017 even by an extended deadline. The delivery of the INS Vikrant will almost coincide with China’s commissioning of its own-built carrier, so far known as “001A” though the Chinese media calls it the “Shandong”.
A report of the US Department of Defence, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, 2018”, says “China’s first domestic aircraft carrier will likely join the fleet by 2019”.
Pictures and videos of the Chinese warship moving out of its base have been doing the rounds over the Internet since Sunday afternoon.
By: Tribune India
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