07:07 GMT27 October 2020
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    The new vessel, which was previously codenamed the Type 001A, received the name "Shandong". It was expected to enter service in April, but its trial phase had to be prolonged.

    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.

    ​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.

    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.

    Navy, aircraft carrier, ship, China
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