China's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier today successfully completed its maiden sea trial and returned to its home port in Dalian, a major step in the country's quest to modernise its military and bolster its naval presence in the disputed South China sea and in the Indian Ocean.
Its sea trial tested multiple facilities and attained the anticipated objectives, state-run China Daily reported.
The completely home-grown aircraft carrier, named Type 001A for now, weighs 50,000 metric tonnes.
Though Liaoning became operational in 2012, it is being mostly used for research and improvements for the new aircraft carriers China plans to build.
The aircraft carriers are being built at feverish pace by China as it enhanced the role of its navy to increase its global influence.
China already has built a naval base at Djibouti in the Indian Ocean which is officially called a logistic base.
The US is the largest operator as it runs 11 nuclear-powered carriers with each having a full-load displacement of about 100,000 tonnes.
India has been operating the aircraft carriers since 1961. INS Vikrant which was purchased as an incomplete carrier in 1957 played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of the East Pakistan in 1971 before it was decommissioned in 1997.
Its successor INS Virat commissioned in 1987 was decommissioned in March last year after an eventful four decades of service.
The second INS Vikrant is being built in Cochin Shipyard. It was expected to be ready this year.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)