China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials near Dalian

China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier leaves for sea trials

China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials near Dalian

China's state media says the country's first domestically-built aircraft carrier has started sea performance tests.

Speaking to CNN of this morning's sea trials, Sam Roggeveen, senior fellow at Sydney's Lowy Institute said: "This is, in and of itself, not created to be some frontal challenge to US power in the Asia Pacific, because it simply isn't in the class of America's aircraft carriers".

India's INS Vikrant, which was launched in 2013 and is expected to go to sea trial in December 2018, is the country's first self-made aircraft carrier.

The new carrier will be capable of transporting about 40 aircraft, and is reportedly modeled on the first, and now only Chinese aircraft carrier in active service, the Liaoning, a re-purposed Soviet aircraft carrier, put into service in 2012.

One of the key differences between Liaoning and the Type 001A is that while the first carrier was meant to be used as a training asset, the new vessel can be used as a front-line combat vessel. The Liaoning went into service in 2012 after being refitted in China.

Both Chinese aircraft carriers have similar "ski jump" ramps, and closely resemble Soviet style vessels.

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The conventional-fuel-powered vessel is about 300 meters long.

The new carrier's name and hull code remain unknown as the People's Liberation Army Navy usually makes public such information only once a ship is commissioned.

Reports said China is also building its third aircraft carrier in Shanghai.

Beijing and New Delhi have embarked on an extensive project to build a "blue water" navy and modernise its over million-strong militaries.

Chinese experts estimates the carrier could be ready for action in about two years after further tests.

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