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Aircraft carrier returns to port after maiden voyage

(People's Daily Online)

08:20, August 15, 2011

China's refitted aircraft carrier was towed back to the port in northeast China's Liaoning Province by tugboats at 10:45 am on August 14, 2011 after four days of tests in the Yellow Sea.(Shanghai Daily Photo)

China's first aircraft carrier returned to Dalian port Sunday after completing a four-day maiden voyage to test its system and capabilities.

The carrier, refitted from an imported platform called Varyag from Ukraine, was towed back to the port in northeast China's Liaoning Province by tugboats at 10:45 am after four days of tests in the Yellow Sea, Xinhua news agency said.

Details of the four-day trials are sketchy, with the military remaining tight-lipped, but China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the carrier's engines, electronic systems, navigations and weapons were all checked.

On the newly refurbished carrier, some People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy solders were seen walking on deck, while all its weapon systems were covered, the report said.

Military sources told Xinhua that the first sea trials were in line with the schedule of the carrier's refitting project, and, after returning from the four-day trials, refit and test work would continue.

The carrier is expected to officially start service with the Chinese Navy in August next year and an official naming ceremony for the vessel would be held next October.

Xinhua News Agency said the carrier might also have tested the taking-off and landing of aircraft.

Yin Zhuo, a Chinese military expert, said the carrier's radar system was among the most advanced in the world.

The Chinese-made system, known as the "Chinese Aegis" to compare with the Aegis Combat System initially used by the United States Navy, can cope with supersonic missiles as efficiently as the US system, said Yin. And, the radar system has been used on two of the Chinese Navy's destroyers.

Li Jie, a researcher of the China Navy Military Academy, said some unmanned aerial vehicles might have landed on the carrier.

The carrier is capable of homing 30 Chinese-made J-15 fighters and helicopters and will have a crew of around 2,000.

The vessel was originally built by the former Soviet Union, which failed to complete construction before its collapse in 1991. Ukraine disarmed the carrier and removed the engines before selling her to China.

Shanghai Daily contributed to this story
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Leave your comment1 comments

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Jiayn Jang at 2011-08-2414.97.38.*
Leave it we know about Chinese technology.Don't compare it with USA.100 more years to go to catch USA.

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