“It’s probably been created to just get China in the aircraft carrier game, and while this design was just an incremental advance (on the country’s first carrier), with the next carrier, which could already be under construction, it will be much closer to a USA carrier”, he said.
“With the expansion of foreign trade, as well as China’s “One Belt and One Road” initiative, the Chinese navy has taken on a new mission, which is to protect the country’s overseas interests”, a report in the Global Times said.
However, military experts warned that China should be “mindful” of the US’ 100,000-tonne nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is twice the size of Shandong. The vessel was commissioned by China´s navy in 2012 after extensive refits. That compares to 85-90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters carried by a Nimitz-class carrier.
This is China’s second aircraft carrier. Also attending was navy commander Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong, a former commander of the South Sea Fleet responsible for defending China’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea.
The US has deployed warships and a submarine to the Korean peninsula, prompting an angry reaction from North Korea. The Liaoning and the Type 001A may serve primarily as more rudimentary training platforms for Chinese naval aviators and sailors to accrue carrier experience.
Chinese Shenyang J-15 fighters have been observed undergoing testing for catapult-assisted take-off suggesting that future Chinese carriers may incorporate this technology.
US President Donald Trump has also proposed a 10% increase in the military budget.
Aircraft carriers: Two under construction.
The China Daily called the ship “the largest and most sophisticated surface vessel China has ever built”.
The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is 280m long and was launched in 2014.
The second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is about two years behind it in construction. Among other regional powers, Japan has two helicopter carriers that can not launch jets.
India now has only one active aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which was purchased second hand from Russian Federation and refurbished. According to report from the national auditor a year ago, the completion of the project may not take place before 2023.
It will be able to carry 55 aircraft, including 35 fixed-wing combat aircraft and 20 rotary wing aircraft.
“The US is deliberately going to remind China that the generation gap between PLA navy and the US carrier strike groups as well as their fighting capabilities will be further enlarged when the carrier Gerald R. Ford is commissioned this year”.
Prior to that it served in Britain’s Royal Navy.