Yesterday, April 26, at 9 am local time and on the 68th birthday of China's navy PLAN, China's 2nd aircraft carrier of the Liaoning-class has been floated off its dry dock at Dalian. The ceremony was attended by members of the Central Committee of China's Communist Party and high-ranking military leaders.
While the first carrier "Liaoning" was based on the semi-finished Soviet-era vessel "Varyag" which belonged to the Kuznetsov-class, China's second carrier has been completely home-built. Its name is still unknown, but rumours are saying it might probably be named "Shandong" on a later occasion.
A Chinese language news portal had previously reported that the ship will have an aircraft capacity of 28-36 aircraft split between Shenyang J-15 fighters and helicopters, which is the same as that of the Liaoning. According to the new vessel's outward apperance, the most significant change from the "Liaoning" seems to be a reconfiguration of the phased array radar panels, with those on the new ship facing diagonally outward on both sides of bridge fore and aft.
[Source: People's Network, China, and western military sources on April 26/27, 2017]