China's first aircraft carrier conducts sea trials, reported Chinese media. Singinficantly, the Shandong is the the country's second aircraft carrie, but first built by China.
The reports did not reveal the exact location of these trials. The warship represents a milestone in Bejin's efforts to build its naval power.
“We need to integrate the Shandong aircraft carrier combat group into the overall combat system as early as possible,” said Li Yongxuan the vice captain of the Shandong.
The sea trial aims at testing the carrier's weapon and equipment capabilities, improving the vessel's training level and further raising the sailors' capabilities to fulfil missions and tasks.
This is the first time China's first aircraft carrier conducts sea trials in five months since its commission in December. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed Naval Command to impose strict rules in order to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus on board.
The Shandong (65,000 tonne) is a first-generation Chinese aircraft carrier, constructed by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry. It is the country's second aircraft carrier after the completion of Liaoning, and the first built domestically.
Shandong can carry 44 aircraft in total (including up to 36 fighter jets), while than its predecessor can carry 36 aircraft, (including 24 jet fighters). Shandong also boasts an Electronically Scanned Array radar with four antennae facing in different directions.
The Chinese president, Xi Jinping stressed on Tuesday the importance of strengthening the national defence and armed forces for 2020.