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China launches 'Fujian,' its most advanced aircraft carrier

Third flattop boasts electromagnetic catapult technology for plane takeoffs

The 80,000-ton ship is the first of China’s three aircraft carriers to be fully designed and built domestically.   © Xinhua/Kyodo

SHANGHAI -- China launched its largest and most advanced aircraft carrier on Friday at a shipyard in Shanghai, in what state media called a "short but festive ceremony."

The 80,000-ton Fujian, named for the southern coastal province opposite Taiwan, is the first of China's three carriers to be fully designed and built domestically. Unlike China's Liaoning and Shandong carriers, which use ski-jump ramps, Fujian will launch planes using electromagnetic catapults, the technology used on current U.S. carriers.

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