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China launches biggest new generation naval destroyer

By K J M Varma
June 28, 2017 13:18 IST
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China's Navy on Wednesday launched its biggest new generation destroyer weighing 10,000 tonnes as part of a massive expansion to become a global naval power.

The navy's new destroyer, a domestically designed and produced vessel, was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group), Shanghai.

The vessel is the first of China's new generation of destroyers. It is equipped with new air defence, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The vessel marks a milestone in improving the nation's navy armament system and building a strong and modern navy.

According to the plan, tests will be carried on the vessel, including equipment operation, berthing and sailing.

The biggest naval destroyer was an addition to two aircraft carriers which China is in the process of deploying to compete with other naval powers liked the United States and India, specially in the Indian Ocean.

The Chinese Navy is currently trying to form battle groups that accompany the aircraft carriers when they set out on missions far from shores.

The first aircraft carrier Liaoning has left with a flotilla of Chinese naval ships on June 25 on "routine training mission" from Qingdao in east China.

The naval formation includes destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, frigate Yantai and a squadron of J-15 fighter jets and helicopters, a Chinese defence ministry statement said. 

The training mission, like the previous ones, is expected to strengthen coordination among the vessels and improve the skills of crew and pilots in different marine region.

This is the first exercise being carried out by Liaoning, a refurbished aircraft carrier, built from the hull of a Soviet ship bought from Ukraine after China had launched a home-made carrier in April this year.

The new aircraft carrier was expected to be operational by 2019.

Liaoning has earlier carried out exercises in the disputed South China Sea as well as East China Sea along with its battle formation group.

IMAGE: China's new type of domestically-built destroyer is seen during its launching ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. Photograph: Reuters

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K J M Varma
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