China's first homegrown aircraft carrier starts sea trial

- May 15, 2018-

The new carrier has more than 12,000 pieces of equipment that were made by 532 Chinese enterprises including many private firms, according to officials from China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, the parent company of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry. They said the vessel has more than 3,600 cabins, noting that during the construction process there would be at least 3,000 workers from across the country working on the ship on a daily basis.

According to sources from the Navy, several aspects of the new carrier are different from those on the Liaoning. For example, the new ship's island is shorter, it has three aircraft arresting wires instead of the four on the Liaoning, and the landing section is longer.

Experts have said that the missions for the new carrier will be different from those for the Liaoning, which is mainly tasked with testing equipment and weapons as well as training personnel. The new vessel, by comparison, will focus on what a genuine aircraft carrier is supposed to do: running combat-ready patrols and safeguarding the nation's maritime sovereignty and interests.

Besides China, seven countries – the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Thailand and India -- operate a total of 18 aircraft carriers. The US is the largest operator as it runs 11 nuclear-powered carriers with each having a full-load displacement of about 100,000 tons。