China’s Newest Aircraft Carrier, CV-18 Fujian, Sets Sail for First Sea Trial


China’s domestically built aircraft carrier, the Type 003 Fujian began its sea trials from Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard on May 1, 2024, marking a significant milestone in the country’s goal to achieve naval superiority in South China Sea. Named after the Chinese southeastern province facing Taiwan Strait, the Fujian is China’s first fully indigenously designed carrier and the second in the world to use an Electromagnetic Catapult Launch System (EMALS) for launching aircrafts. It is also the first ever conventionally powered carrier to incorporate the EMALS capability.

The sea trials are expected to test the functionality of the carrier’s various systems, including propulsion, navigation, EMALS and communication. The Fujian was first launched in June, 2022 and is expected to enter service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAAN) by 2026.

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