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China launches first home-grown aircraft carrier, catching up to India in naval power

New Delhi, April 27, 2017: China on Wednesday launched its first locally-built aircraft carrier, less than four years after the construction of the 70,000 tonne warship began at the Dalian shipyard.

Updated:Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 21:56

China launches first home-grown aircraft carrier, catching up to India in naval powerNew Delhi, April 27, 2017: China on Wednesday launched its first locally-built aircraft carrier, less than four years after the construction of the 70,000 tonne warship began at the Dalian shipyard.

The Type 001A carrier is expected to be commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in two years as Beijing seeks to aggressively project its maritime power thousands of miles away from its shores.

The Chinese carrier has been launched at a time when India is still struggling to build its first indigenous carrier Vikrant, being constructed at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited.

The construction of the Indian carrier began in 2009 and it was launched in 2013. The Indian Navy said the carrier would be commissioned in 2018 but a report by the national auditor contradicted the claim, stating that the project is years behind schedule.

The Indian Navy has been operating aircraft carriers for several decades. INS Vikrant, bought from the UK, was commissioned as the Indian Navy’s first carrier in 1961. It was retired in 1997.

China had no aircraft carrier till 2012. The Chinese navy commissioned its first aircraft carrier Liaoning -- a discarded vessel bought from Ukraine – five years ago after extensive refits. Liaoning is a Soviet-era Kuznetsov-class carrier and the new carrier is reportedly based on the same design.

Source: Hindustan Times

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