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China releases first pictures of Shandong Chinese-made aircraft carrier a naval port in Sanya


The official website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense has published first pictures of the Shandong Chinese-made aircraft carrier a naval port in Sanya, China. China’s first domestically-made aircraft carrier Shandong (Hull 17) was officially commissioned to the PLA Navy at a military port in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province, on the afternoon of December 17, 2019.


China releases first pictures of Shandong Chinese made aircraft carrier a naval port in Sanya 925 001 Shandong Chinese-made aircraft carrier a naval port in Sanya. (Picture source China MoD)


China is now one of the few countries in the world that have multiple carriers. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the commissioning ceremony for the new aircraft carrier, which was named after China’s eastern province of Shandong, and handed the military flag to Senior Captain Lai Yijun, commander of the ship.

The Shandong is a first-generation Chinese aircraft carrier that was launched on 26 April 2017 for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is the country's second aircraft carrier after the completion of Liaoning, and the first built domestically. Shandong was initially designated as a Type 001A air carrier during development but was finalized as Type 002 at commissioning.

The first sea trial of the Shandong aircraft carrier took place in May 2018 in the Bohai Sea. This was followed by eight more trials through November 2019 for a total of about 19 months before the carrier was commissioned. The ninth and final sea trial, which commenced from 14 November 2019, was conducted simultaneously with a training exercise in the South China Sea.

The Shandong aircraft carrier is based on a Soviet design with a ski jump style flight deck for takeoffs rather than the flat decks used by much larger U.S. aircraft carriers. It is powered by a conventional oil-fueled steam turbine power plant, rather than the nuclear fuel American carriers and submarines use.

The Shandong aircraft carrier is estimated to have a 60,000 to 70,000 tons displacement range and can carry 40 and 50 aircraft as well as helicopters and drones including 32 Shenyang J-11 or J-15 fighter aircraft, 6 x Changhe Z-18 helicopters, 2 x Harbin Z-9 helicopters and 2 x KJ-600 transport / AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft. It also features advanced processing systems, sensors, and a radar fit to include the Type 346A series.

The Shandong aircraft carrier is armed with 3 x HQ-10 (18-cell) Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems and 3 x 30mm Type 1130 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).


China releases first pictures of Shandong Chinese made aircraft carrier a naval port in Sanya 925 002


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