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PLA Navy makes preparations for aircraft carrier formation

By Hai Tao (Xinhua)

08:49, December 14, 2012

Within only a month, the development of China's aircraft carrier experienced the official delivery of the "Liaoning Ship" to the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the successful taking-off and landing training of the carrier-borne J-15 fighter nicknamed "Flying Shark" on the deck of the aircraft carrier. Western observers feel astonished at the speed of the development of China's aircraft carrier and no longer doubt that China's first aircraft carrier formation will debut in the near future.

A naval open-sea taskforce mainly composed of warships from the East China Sea Fleet under the PLA Navy sailed to the vast waters of the West Pacific Ocean and carried out routine drills again on November 28, 2012. During the open-sea training, the taskforce conducted training on such subjects as round-the-clock navigation and defense, open-sea combat and supply and escort for large surface ship. Military experts speculate that such open-sea training may be the preparation for the building of China's first aircraft carrier formation.

Various fleets started mission-oriented formation drills

Actually, various fleets under the PLA Navy had begun mission-oriented drills before the commissioning of the "Liaoning Ship". Especially in recent years, the lineup and formation, communication and command and combined tactics of large surface ship taskforce have become the basic components of open-sea training of the PLA Navy.

A joint taskforce under the North China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy consisting of seven warships, including the "Harbin" and "Shijiazhuang" guided missile destroyers, also carried out coordinated training among multiple arms in the waters of the West Pacific Ocean in early October. Obviously, with the official delivery of the aircraft carrier "Liaoning Ship", the PLA Navy will timely carry out joint taskforce drill between the "Liaoning Ship" and other surface ships.

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