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China launches 3rd aircraft carrier

The carrier is larger, more powerful and more advanced than the previous two, making it the first Chinese aircraft carrier to come close to rival its US counterparts

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Beijing: China on Friday launched the country’s third aircraft carrier and also its second domestically developed one in Shanghai, a move said to be a milestone for the vessel’s construction and future commissioning.

Having a displacement of more than 80,000 tonnes, the carrier, Fujian, is equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices, the Global Times reported.

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The carrier is larger, more powerful and more advanced than the previous two, making it the first Chinese aircraft carrier to come close to rival its US counterparts thanks to technologies it uses like catapults, it quoted unnamed analysts as saying.

A launch and naming ceremony was held at the Jiangnan Shipyard, a Shanghai-based subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp Ltd, when the naming certificate of the vessel was given to the top officer to receive the delivery of the aircraft carrier.

Officials then cut the ribbon marking the launch of the third aircraft carrier, after which the vessel left the dock.

China’s third aircraft carrier is named the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Ship Fujian and given the hull number 18.

By comparison, China’s current two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both have a displacement of about 60,000 tonnes and use ski-jump ramps to assist aircraft launch.

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