China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier the Shandong officially entered service on 17 December, Tuesday in Sanya, Hainan province, China's state media reported.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by President Xi Jinping, vice-premier Liu He and officials from the Southern Theatre Command and other top governmental figures.
🇨🇳#Breaking #China’s first domestically built #AircraftCarrier, Shandong, was delivered and commissioned to the PLA Navy on Tuesday in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province.— CCTV Asia Pacific (@CCTVAsiaPacific) December 17, 2019
🇨🇳#突发 #中国 第一艘 #国产航空母舰 山东舰17日下午在海南三亚交付海军。 pic.twitter.com/yI9tocyjZs
Last month, the Chinese authorities confirmed that the carrier had travelled through Taiwan Strait for routine training and trials.
The ship is an upgraded version of the Kuznetsov-type vessels fitted with upgraded radar and bridge systems and a ski-jump deck for take-offs.
CV17 SHANDONG is commissioned into service today. pic.twitter.com/QWPsozrRc1— dafeng cao (@dafengcao) December 17, 2019
Shandong, developed by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, is expected to be able to carry 36 J-15 fighter jets exceeding China's other existing aircraft carriers by 12 planes.
China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning was acquired by Beijing from Ukraine in 1998. The vessel named Varyag at that time had been rusting since the dissolution of the Soviet Union left its construction incomplete. By 2012, Chinese construction of the ship was complete, and it was rechristened the Liaoning, after the northeastern province where the shipyard was located.