Chinese Navy takes delivery of second aircraft carrier


China's 2nd aircraft carrier, the country's first domestically built one, was named Shandong (hull 17) and was commissioned into the Chinese Navy on Tuesday. The new carrier entered service at the naval port in Sanya on the South China Sea island of Hainan. The ship bears the hull number 17.


Chinese Navy takes delivery of second aircraft carrier 925 001 China's 2nd aircraft carrier Shandong (Picture source: Chinamil)


The commissioning marked China’s entry into an age of double carriers, an achievement only a few countries in the world have accomplished and will enrich the Navy’s tactical and strategic choices in time, space and sheer power, experts said.

Overseen by President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, the aircraft carrier received a grand commissioning ceremony at a naval base in Sanya.

Construction of Shandong began in November 2013. It was launched in April 2017 at the Dalian Shipyard, northeast China’s Liaoning Province. The new carrier entered service at the naval port in Sanya on the South China Sea island of Hainan. The ship bears the hull number 17.

Having a displacement of around 40,000-60,000 tons and using a similar ski-jump flight deck as the Liaoning, the conventional-powered Shandong is equipped with more advanced electronic devices and control and command system, and built with an optimized superstructure and internal layout, after gaining actual-user experiences following the Liaoning’s commissioning in 2012.

Liaoning (CV-16), the first Chinese carrier (Type 001), was commissioned in 2012 and provides a potent, 61,000-tonne, 304.5-metre platform capable of supporting an airwing of 40 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. In contrast, CV-17 (Type 001A), the second Chinese carrier commissioned earlier this year and an enlarged variant of the Liaoning, is a 63,500-tonne, 315-metre vessel with a similar airwing capacity of 40 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Military experts speculate the third carrier could have a displacement of around 80,000 tons, use flat deck with electromagnetic catapults to replace the ski-jump deck, thus making it capable of carrying more aircraft in terms of both number and type and launching fighter jets more efficiently.

It was announced earlier that the PLA Navy is also moving ahead with plans to build a fourth aircraft carrier. According to the reports, the construction of the aircraft carrier, which will be the most advanced carrier of the Navy, could start as early as 2021. The fourth vessel is also reportedly a Type 002 class aircraft carrier.


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