China launched its third aircraft carrier, the country’s most modern and first “completely domestically made” naval warship, as an aggressive Beijing pushed to expand its navy’s range in the key Indo-Pacific area. The ‘Fujian’ aircraft carrier was launched at a brief ceremony at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard, according to official media reports from the eastern metropolis.
- According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Fujian is China’s first domestically designed and built catapult aircraft carrier.
- Due to the COVID lockdown of Shanghai, the ship’s launch was delayed by two months. It was supposed to be launched on April 23, around the time of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 73rd anniversary (PLAN).
- China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited’s third aircraft carrier has a displacement of more than 80,000 tonnes and is equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting gear.
- Fujian is the name given to China’s easternmost coastline province.
- The ‘Liaoning,’ China’s first aircraft carrier, was a refurbishment of a Soviet-era ship that was commissioned in 2012, followed by the Chinese-built second aircraft carrier, the ‘Shandong,’ in 2019. Two Chinese provinces are named Liaoning and Shandong.
- According to official Chinese media, China aims to have roughly five aircraft carriers. China is planning to develop a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as its next project. According to the daily newspaper, the ship Fujian was launched at a brief but lively ceremony.
- At around 11 a.m., a launch and naming ceremony was held, during which the vessel’s naming certificate was presented to the top officer receiving delivery of the aircraft carrier.
Officials then cut the ribbon to commemorate the third aircraft carrier’s debut, after which the warship departed the port, bringing the ceremony to a close.