onsdag 4. januar 2023

China’s new supercarrier will soon undergo first sea trials, officer says

The Chinese navy’s massive new aircraft carrier, the CNS Fujian, is expected to head to sea for the first time this year, the ship’s executive officer said in an interview with state media. In a report on the interview published Tuesday by state-run China Daily, Senior Capt. Qian Shumin did not give an exact date for when the aircraft carrier will undergo its first sea excursions, saying only that “the trials will contribute to the realization of the centenary goals of the People’s Liberation Army.”

That centenary, which comes in 2027, was referenced by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in October as a deadline for the PLA to meet its modernization goals. The Fujian is the largest warship China has ever built and bringing it into operation is a key component in the PLA Navy’s objectives. The ship was launched with great fanfare on June 17 and has been in the final stages of construction at a Shanghai shipyard.

Hawaii-based analyst Carl Schuster, a former US Navy captain, said he expects the Fujian’s first trials to come in the spring.