China Launches Sea Trials for Third Advanced Aircraft Carrier, Fujian

On Wednesday, China initiated sea trials for the Fujian, its latest and most sophisticated aircraft carrier, as reported by state media. 

This milestone comes almost two years after the initial unveiling of the carrier in June 2022. 


The Fujian, a product of domestic design and construction, surpasses the capabilities of the Shandong, operational since late 2019, and the Liaoning, acquired from Ukraine in 1998. CCTV disclosed that the Fujian departed from a shipyard in Shanghai shortly after 8 a.m. (0000 GMT).

President Xi Jinping’s strategic vision to elevate China as a dominant military force in the region is underscored by the development of the Fujian, aiming to establish a “blue-water” navy capable of power projection beyond China’s shores. 

Notably, the Fujian boasts a flat flight deck equipped with a catapult-launch system for jets and derives its name from the Chinese province opposite Taiwan. The carrier had been stationed at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard for testing purposes.

These sea trials mark the final phase before the Fujian is officially commissioned into service by the Chinese navy. Currently, the United States leads in aircraft carrier numbers, with 11 carriers and nine aircraft-carrying amphibious assault ships.

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