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China forms its first carrier-based aviation unit


10:19, May 11, 2013

China’s first carrier-based aviation unit has been established in Northeastern China’s
Liaoning province.

China’s first carrier-based aviation unit has been established in Northeastern China’s Liaoning province. The air unit is regarded as the centerpiece of the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier. Its creation also marks a major milestone in the modernization of China’s navy.

Entering a new stage…

On Friday, the Chinese Navy announced the establishment of its first carrier-based aviation unit. Pilots have been specially selected from China’s Air Force. All of them have flown more than 5 different types of aircraft, and have logged more than 1000 hours of flight time.

“It is very difficult and risky for carrier-based aircraft to land on a limited landing area on a moving carrier under a complex marine environment. So the candidates must go through a strict screening process,” said Liu Changhong, commander for flight testing, Chinese Navy. The pilots have also been well educated in navigation, maritime law, and meteorology.

Experts say the full establishment of the fighter jet fleet means that the aircraft carrier is now more ready to operate to its full potential. It brings the carrier a crucial step closer towards becoming a genuine naval combat force. But building up any air fleet is no easy task.

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