China Launches First Domestically-Built Aircraft Carrier

Tyler Durden's picture

Exactly one day ago, we reported that "China's first domestically built aircraft carrier will soon launch in Dalian, Liaoning Province for drills and trial voyages, putting to the test proprietary technology meant to further Beijing's expansion in the South and East China seas."

A dock at the Dalian shipyard was being filled with water Sunday the local press reported, in preparation for the launch. The Chinese-made vessel is expected to enter service around 2020, joining China's first and only aircraft carrier, a refurbished Ukrainian vessel known as the Liaoning.

Fast forward just 24 hours, when moments ago the People's Daily reported that China has officially launched its second aircraft carrier -- and its first domestically built, in Dalian on Wednesday morning

The new carrier, the first domestically-built one, was transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony that started at about 9 a.m. in Dalian shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry, according to Xinhua.

It is China's second aircraft carrier, which comes after the Liaoning, a refitted former Soviet Union-made carrier that was put into commission in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

In a statement, China's Ministry of Defense's announced that China's second aircraft carrier launching ceremony was held at the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Dalian Shipyard this morning. Fan Changlong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the ceremony and delivered a speech.

More, google translated:

The ceremony began at 9am with the majestic national anthem. In accordance with international practice, after cutting the ribbon, a "bottle throwing" ceremony took place. With a bottle of champagne broken ship bow, two sides of the jet ribbon, the surrounding ship with a whistle, the audience sounded warm applause. The aircraft carrier moved out of the dock and towed the dock under towing traction.


The second aircraft carrier by our own development, started in November 2013, in March 2015 to start the construction of the dock. At present, the aircraft carrier main hull to complete the construction, power, electricity and other major system equipment installed in place. Docking is one of the major nodes in the construction of aircraft carriers, marking China's independent design and construction of aircraft carriers to achieve significant results. The next step, the aircraft carrier will be planned for system equipment commissioning and outfitting construction, and a comprehensive mooring test.


Navy, China Shipbuilding Industry Group leadership Shen Jinlong, Miao Hua, Hu asked Ming, as well as military and other relevant departments of the leadership and scientific research personnel, cadres and workers, representatives of officers and soldiers to participate in the ceremony.

For those who may have missed our original post, here are the full details of China's first domestically-build aircraft carrier.

The new ship, like its predecessor, will be conventionally propelled, as opposed to nuclear-powered, and feature a sloped flight deck known as a ski jump for aircraft takeoff. It is somewhat smaller than the Liaoning, with a displacement of around 50,000 tons compared to around 67,000 tons. The SCMP notes that "from the successful refitting of the Liaoning in 2011 and its commission a year later, China spent just five years to produce the 001A."

China's first home-built aircraft carrier awaits launch at a Dalian shipyard

Around 200 visitors and reporters gathered in Dalian on Sunday, expecting a launch ceremony to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the Chinese navy's founding. The scaffolding around the ship, temporarily named the Type 001A, was removed and the deck was cleared, Shanghai-based news portal reported, suggesting that the launch date was getting close. However, experts said tidal conditions yesterday were not conducive for a launch to mark the navy’s birthday, and expected a ceremony to take place in the next few days.

According to SCMP, the new vessel is designed to have more space for aircraft than the Liaoning, by some estimates letting the ship hold as many as 36 fighter jets, or 50% more than its predecessor. While the new carrier "differs little from the Liaoning as far as outward appearances go, its operational capabilities are vastly superior," Chinese military expert Liang Fang told state-run China Central Television.


Commentaries published by party mouthpiece People’s Daily on the PLA Navy anniversary yesterday said a strong maritime force was crucial.


“Facing the increasingly complicated maritime security and sovereignty struggle, a strong navy is necessary to protect ­national sovereignty and maritime rights, overseas interests and take part in international cooperation,” one of the opinion pieces said.


Another commentary said the nation’s aircraft carrier fleet had participated in training in the western Pacific last year, and that the launch of a new carrier was a sign that China was mastering ­naval technology.

Nonetheless, military observers said the launch of the new carrier represented only modest progress in China’s military modernisation, given the technological gap ­between the PLA Navy and its most powerful rival in the Asia-Pacific region, the US Navy, which currently has 10 operational, nuclear-powered Nimitz-class carriers, which carry around 90 aircraft and helicopters and have a crew of 5,000 each.

The new vessel is expected to operate mainly in the South China Sea alongside the Liaoning, which in December held its second set of exercises in the contested waters since entering service. Adding another ship would enable an aircraft carrier to remain present there while the other is in for maintenance. This arrangement, combined with ports and airstrips China has built on man-made islands in the sea, aims to give Beijing aerial supremacy over a region it considers central to its national interest and to curtail U.S. activity there.

According to Nikkei, future Chinese aircraft carriers are likely to be built faster now that the country has amassed the design experience and technology to bring the first vessel to launch.

Confirming this, work on a second Chinese-made carrier has already begun. The vessel probably will employ a steam catapult to launch aircraft, retired Maj. Gen. Xu Guangyu told Chinese media. A third vessel which has yet to begin production is expected to use nuclear propulsion, eliminating the need to resupply fuel. Work on escort vessels and submarines for a carrier strike group is also underway.

Quoted by SCMP, Hong Kong-based military analyst Liang Guoliang said that with the launch of the Type 001A, China would still only have two carriers, with the new ship requiring two or three years before it was put into full service. He noted that the US has 10 carrier strike groups, with at least four deployed in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“The US navy has 9.5 million tonnes of shipping, while China has just 400,000 tonnes, or 4 per cent of the US capability. The US also has different kinds of carrier-based fighters, including its advanced carrier variants of the F-35 fighter ... while China just has the J-15,” Liang said. “Meanwhile, the US has more than 200,000 marines, while China is just trying to expand its force to 100,000.

“I think the Chinese military should realise that there are still huge gaps in both hardware and software between the two countries’ maritime capabilities.”

They probably do, which is why corporate espionage in the US is likely to intensify in the coming years as China rushes to cover the technological gap. And as China scrambles to catch up to the US fleet of aircraft carrier, it has also shown an eagerness to cover shortfalls in its submarine fleet: as reported on Friday, China is currently building the world's largest submarine facility, which when operational later this year, will be able to build as many as 4 subs at the same time.

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Quantum Bunk's picture

USSA is pissing its pants. They built this carrier in no time. With all the accumulated knowledge, they can finally get to work on nuclear supers.

skinwalker's picture

Much faster that the US for sure.

Probably much cheaper as well.

I'm a total war scenario I'm sure China could produce hideous amounts of ships in little time.

NoDecaf's picture

They should decorate it with a dragon along the full length and write "fuck you john mccain" in Chinese.

I also hope they crank out more as quickly as possible to throw some cold water on the neocon scum.

Ms. Erable's picture

WalMart quality at a price China can afford!

Stuck on Zero's picture

The Chinese Admirals will be able to sail around in style with that fancy war machine. Imagine pulling up in that limo. All eyes would be staring and say: "Oh wow. Look at the celebs." They could even get on the cover of People Magazine alongside the Kardashians and Miley.

Ghost of Porky's picture

If it's like other chinese products it will break in a month and be discarded in a dumpster.

Four chan's picture

nice ramp lol call it the shanghighed junk.

Troll Magnet's picture

Yeah made in china. Ooh. I'm scared. Not.

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

Looks like the bunny slope at Holmenkollbakken to me


Eddie the Eagle ought to go over & give it a toss

Oracle 911's picture

Chinese built Russian design. Seriously.

Dick Gazinia's picture

The Chinks are not sailors.  No experience using these in battle.  Thats a big metal coffin.

runswithscissors's picture

Coated with toxic lead paint and small plastic parts that can present a choking hazard. 

Rusty Shorts's picture

not even close to the US NAVY toxic paint. you really have no idea.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Everything gummint touches turns to shit.

land_of_the_few's picture

She was always the best Spice Girl.

Justin Case's picture

If it makes it out of the harbor it's already better than the merican built ships. They usually break down after that distance. One even made it to Panama before crapping out. Lawn chairs on the deck and suntan oil for the crew.

Nexus789's picture

The US  is slowly being buried by China.  Recent trade fairs in Germany showed thst china produces products on par or superior to the west. They (the Chinese) would like you to continue to think they are copiers,  tin bashers,  etc. 

Gazooks's picture

the US doesn't need anyone else to bury itself..



in its own fetid swamp

thegazzman's picture

in a total war scenario their whole entire industrial machine would be turned to nuclear dust

NoBillsOfCredit's picture

You have no idea of what total war means you stupid overconfident moron.

meditate_vigorously's picture

What he means is that you don't understand modern warfare. Think propaganda, central planning, collusion, and what is best for the global elite and not in terms of a WW2 shootout.

thegazzman's picture

hey kid;

total war:  a war which is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the accepted rules of war are disregarded.

that means both sides firing nukes at eachother.

I don't give a fuck what your alternate moonstone blog says about the definition of total war.


Total war in today's age = nuclear carnage 

sinbad2's picture

Face reality.

The Chinese have missiles that can stop US nukes.

The US does NOT have missiles that can stop Chinese nukes.

Every major US city will suffer repeated nuclear strikes, and the Chinese will sell the survivors the stuff to rebuild.

Nexus789's picture

So would the US you dolt. It only needs the internet and US power grid to fail and chaos would result. 

meditate_vigorously's picture

Modern navy and air forces are (almost)purely offensive capabilities. This is just a message to the Fed and BOE to back off.

45North1's picture

In any war of attrition of military equipment, I suspect China would have the upper hand with a higher "refresh rate" for its equipment.

Which then poses the nuclear option.

Unfortunately Neocons have reservations in the bunkers.

SgtShaftoe's picture

Don't worry, people will pile hundreds of tons of rocks over the doors. Neocons enter, nobody leaves. Who runs bartertown now?!?!

Ace Ventura's picture

Not to mention locating the requisite ventilation intake/exhaust shafts for said bunkers. Once they're found, game over inside.

land_of_the_few's picture

I believe gasoline and a flaming match is the preferred condiment, at least, in previous wars that was so.

sinbad2's picture

The next war will go nuclear almost instantly. The Russians know they can't win a conventional war against US troops that are stationed all over the world.

The Carthage option is their own chance of winning, so that's what they will do.

SgtShaftoe's picture

The Russians have "dead hand". They don't need to go nuclear until they have missiles inbound and detonating. It's an automatic launch from then-on-out.

sinbad2's picture

I didn't say they had to go nuclear, but they will. The US military is much larger than the Russian military, and it's stationed all over the globe.

So, the only way to defeat such an enemy, is to start nuking the US, and let every commander of every US base know, that if he pulls the trigger, Russia will kill every single American in the US. 

The US is the least defended part of the American empire, it's the only logical option the Russians have.

SgtShaftoe's picture

The Russians were always a little more clever in keeping things simple than the US military industrial complex. If nothing else, they are very pragmatic. The star wars program was essentially defeated by decoy and multiple re-entry vehicle design of their warheads.

Also instead of putting expensive guidance systems on warheads, they designed a system to guide the aircraft to the correct release point. They are very clever in efficiency.

Their old aircraft ran motors that are pretty much bullet proof and can be opened up and repaired with basic tools.

I don't see the Russians authorizing a full launch unless Russia has already been blown up (dead hand). They are too clever for that. They have rotary wing aircraft-portable electronic weapons that can disable an entire naval battle group. They can also easily use other means to destabilize the US leadership. They were masters at inserting spies and agents into the US during soviet days. I think they'd go that route and decapitate the regime just short of nuclear war. Infrastructure could certainly be impacted broadly due to the multiple single points of failure that are in easy reach. Also they could try to kick off a US insurgency with their own agents by taking out a half dozen congress critters, defense contractor CEOs, executives, etc. They could kill a thousand key (guilty) people in a single night and cause the US to fall into chaos. Or they could detonate the currency (or a combination of all the above).

If I were Putin, that's exactly what I would do. I don't think they'll give a full launch order until the very end. Hell, they don't even have to. It's automatic:

land_of_the_few's picture

Well they are certainly more educated in international matters, if their diplomats are anything to go by!

sinbad2's picture

"I don't see the Russians authorizing a full launch unless Russia has already been blown up"


That's because you have skin in the game, and your desire to win clouds your thoughts.

Do you really expect the Russians to do what the US wants, fight the war the way US wants it fought?

If the Russians engage the US with conventional weapons, they will lose

If the Russians wait until the US has nuked them, they will lose.

If the Russians tried to take the fight to every US military threat to Russia, they would be fighting on dozens of fronts.

The only way for Russia to win, is to take out the US, in a massive show of force.

By attacking the US, it would isolate the US troops stationed in many countries, and break the chain of command.

With the US no more, the countries that host the US troops and nukes might just take down the American bases, as an act of self preservation. And if America was gone, what would they be fighting for?


This plan has been used successfully in the past. Whilst Hannibal was roaming Europe and defeating all, Scipio took an army to Carthage and totally destroyed the place, with no country left to fight for, Hannibals army disintigrated.

Nexus789's picture

Their revised military doctrine suggests so.  It's online for any one to read in English.  Translated for the Pentagram people to read I guess. 

Reverend.Pajama.Pants's picture

US has its own version of dead hand.

mkkby's picture

Chinks will make lots of military equipment, but it will break the first time they use it.  Plastic parts, cheap steel, exploding capacitors and the instruction manual will be in engrish.

Chink ships will make the best underwater fish habitat, so good for planet.

Helix6's picture

Who do you thinks manufactures the parts for our military equipment?

freejack's picture

Like the computer you typed your comment from?  Made by a bunch of chinks, japs, and gooks.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Hey we can always outsource production to china....oh wait...

Tallest Skil's picture

For those of you still terrified of Big Bad China coming for the US, even if they make everything in their military plan, they still won’t commission more warship tonnage than the USN from now to 2025. 

US warships to be commissioned by 2025:

3x Ford class, 300,000t

3x America class, 134,913t

3x Zumwalt class, 45,000t

14x Burke class, 137,200t 

10x Freedom and 10x Independence class, 66,040t

16x Virginia class, 126,400t

3x San Antonio class, 75,900t

And those are just the commissioned major combatants, not including the MSC or support hulls. A total of 885,453 tons of commissioned warship by 2025, all of which are either currently under construction or currently on order. For reference, this is roughly 3/4 of the entire current PLAN commissioned displacement.

PLAN new build ships by 2025:

1x Type 001A, 67,500t

1x Type 002, (no confirmed tonnage; ~80,000

12x 055, ~156,000t

23x 052D, 172,500t

1x 054A, 4,053t

24x 054B, 97,272t

2x 071, 50,000t

4x 072, 160,000t

For a grand total of about 787,325t, and that’s only if they are wildly successful and there are no issues with building the first in class ships of at least 5 brand new first-build designs in the next 9 years. Still almost 100,000t less than the rate at which the USN has been building and commissioning warships for years now. The USN has more supercarrier tonnage (1.1 million tons) commissioned and operational than the tonnage of the entire PLAN. As of May 2015:

Total commissioned tonnage for the USN: over 3,000,000 tons.

Total commissioned tonnage for the PLAN: 992,363 tons.


Carriers number/tonnage

USN: 10x, 1.1 million tons, Nimitz class

PLAN: 1x 67,500 tons, Liaoning 


LPA/LHD/LSD numbers/tonnage

USN: 9x, 369,693 tons, One America and 8 Wasps

PLAN: 0x, 0 tons, nada


LPD/LSD numbers/tonnage

USN: 22x, 448,214 tons, 8 Whidbey Island, 4 Harpers Ferry, 1 Austin, 9 San Antonio

PLAN: 3x, 60,000 tons, Type 071 (Yuzhao)


LST number/tonnage

USN: 0x, 0 tons, nada

PLAN: 60x, 209,360 tons, various types from 800-7,000 tons


Since the decommissioning of the last Newport-class in 2002, the USN has not used LSTs. It still operates 32 LCUs (381t apiece) as well as the 35 US Army operated LCUs (1,102t apiece), but because the USN has so many LHAs, LHDs, LPDs, and LSDs, LSTs are no longer needed to ferry LCUs to the combat area. Notice that this class of vessel, which the USN considers obsolete in modern amphibious warfare, comprises over 20% of the PLAN fleet. So, no. Even if they’re wildly successful (spoiler: they’re commies, so they won’t be), the Chinese are not even going to be gaining ground with the 2025 plan.

NoDecaf's picture

They have a completely different mission than trying to maintain world hegemony, so they don't need as much 'tonnage'

Nexus789's picture

Also their strategy is asymmetrical and relies on a range of different technologies.  For instance massed layers of missiles with new anti ship missiles exceeding Mach 4. It won't be long before China has access to Russia's Mach 6+ tech. There are submarines and there are targets. 

Golden Showers's picture

I know you didn't overlook this, but, the US is producing 100 million Grande Gordo Mexicant's, 47 million Liberal twats, and about 200 thousand libertarians by 2025.

I know, right?