• China's first domestically made aircraft carrier under construction in Dalian.

China's first domestically made aircraft carrier under construction in Dalian. (Photo : Getty Images)

The work done on China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier is steadily progressing. When it is launched, this will be China's its operational carrier, and will reportedly be named as the "Shandong."

It is reported that the entire vessel has a tip curved upward so that aircraft can easily take off.

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The China-made aircraft carrier boasts a displacement of about 50,000 tons. It is being constructed in Dalian, and is likely to join the South Sea Fleet. This is the fleet that controls the controversial South China Sea, where territorial disputes over reefs and islands are raging between China and different nations.

According to the English version of the Global Times, an affiliate of the Chinese Communist Party's People's Daily, the aircraft carrier will be serviced by 2020.

A spokesman for the National Defense Ministry of China said: “The aircraft is an improvement in many aspects (on the Liaoning).”

Liaoning, China's current lone aircraft carrier, is a remodeled Soviet carrier that launched in 2012, but is used for training purposes only. Chinese experts sais that the new carrier's deck is larger than that of the Liaoning, which enables the carrier to accommodate more planes.

“China needs two groups of aircraft carriers in sea areas ranging from the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean that are important for the safety and benefit of the country,” said Yin Zhuo, a Chinese military expert.

Since planes can sometimes either require a lengthy period of repairs or be used in training, it is said that at least three to four aircraft carriers are necessary for the deployment of one to two planes.

To ensure that enough planes can be deployed at the same time, China is constructing another aircraft carrier in Shanghai to add to the one being built in Dalian.