China has begun assembly of the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the AG-600, China Daily reported on Sunday.
The manufacturer has received 17 orders for the plane so far, with around 100 expected to be needed in China in the next 15 years. The manufacturer told China Daily that one of the planes has been ordered by a company in the South China Sea. Although the plane is said to mostly be in demand for tourist and rescue purposes, it can also be used as a supply transport.
"Such aircraft have special and significant functions that are essential to maritime powers," chief designer Huang Lincai said.
The new plane has also sparked interest abroad, in countries such as Malaysia and New Zealand. According to the newspaper, China has decommissioned its previous-generation Harbin SH-5 seaplanes.