China is ready to build bigger warships, its naval shipyard said as the first domestically built aircraft carrier began a sea trial early on Sunday.
The new warship was a collaboration between civilian contractors and researchers and the defence industry, Hu Wenming, chairman of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, told state television on Sunday. He said more than 70 per cent of the companies involved in the warship project were from civilian sectors.
The new aircraft carrier left the shipyard in northeastern Dalian at 6.45am, Xinhua reported, sailing out of the port half an hour later in heavy fog to put its home-grown power and propulsion systems to the test at sea for the first time.
Launched in April last year, the 65,000-tonne Type 001A has yet to be named and is an upgrade to the Liaoning, China’s only operational aircraft carrier – a retrofitted Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class multi-role vessel that went into service in 2012.