Update (0855 EST): Photos showing the Fujian out to sea.
Update (0023 EST): Video of the launch:
After much anticipation and several rescheduled launch ceremonies, China has finally launched the Fujian, the third aircraft carrier in the Peoples Liberation Army Navy. The ship will now dock at another facility in Jiangan shipyard for further fittings and eventually to undergo sea trials. It appears that the EMALS have not been completed yet due to coverings still on the aircraft launch lanes.
From Chinese state media:
“#The third aircraft carrier named Fujian ship#[#China’s third aircraft carrier named Fujian ship#] The launching naming ceremony of China’s third aircraft carrier was held on the morning of the 17th at Jiangnan Shipyard of China Shipbuilding Group Co., Ltd.
At about 11 o’clock, the naming ceremony began. The national anthem of the People’s Republic of China was sung, and the five-star red flag rose slowly. At the ceremony, the chief officer of the receiving unit was awarded a naming certificate, and the military and local leaders jointly cut the ribbon for the launch of China’s third aircraft carrier. Then the bottle throwing ceremony was carried out. The champagne bottle broke the bow, the two sides sprayed gorgeous ribbons, the ship sounded the whistle, the dock door opened, and the aircraft carrier slowly moved out of the dockyard. The launching naming ceremony ended with the singing of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
With the approval of the Central Military Commission, China’s third aircraft carrier was named Fujian Ship of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, and the port number was 18. Fujian is the first ejection aircraft carrier completely independently designed and built in China. It adopts a straight long flight deck, equipped with electromagnetic ejection and blocking devices, and a full load displacement of more than 80,000 tons. After the ship is launched, mooring tests and navigation tests will be carried out as planned. CCTV News Client”