China has officially announced its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Tuesday and commissioned it to the People Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN). Named the ‘Shandong’ – the 55,000 ton is China’s second aircraft carrier after Liaoning. The former vessel was originally built in the USSR during the 1980s before it was reconditioned in Dalian and commissioned into the Plan as a training ship in 2012.
Interestingly, only a handful of countries are boasting navies that operate two or more aircraft carriers. This includes the United States, The United Kingdom, and Italy. The commissioning of ‘Shandong’ marks a milestone for China, who has already started working on its third carrier at shipyards near Shanghai.
However, when it comes to aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy surpasses all the other countries with 11 vessels in its operations. In fact, the newest vessel by the U.S. Navy is a top-class USS Gerald R. Ford that was commissioned into their range of fleet in July 2017. The carriers by the U.S. are also noteworthy for their nuclear power and the use of advanced technology.
The U.S. Navy also boasts eight Wasp-class and one America class amphibious assault ship. They are also planning to add another similar ship by summer 2020. Reports suggest that the new addition will be similar to France’s Charles de Gaulle with the ability to operate a significant number of fast jets.