China has launched its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defense industries. State media reported Wednesday’s launch of the 50,000-ton carrier from a shipyard in the northern port city of Dalian.
That’s the same city where the hull of China’s first carrier, the Ukrainian-built Liaoning, underwent extensive refurbishing before being commissioned in 2012.
The new carrier will likely be formally commissioned sometime before 2020 following the completion of sea trials and the arrival of its full air complement.
Like the Liaoning, the new carrier is based on the former Soviet Union’s Kuznetsov class design, with a ski jump style deck for taking off and a conventional oil-fueled steam turbine power plant.