China’s Aircraft Carrier Could Begin Sea Trials in August

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say a retrofitted aircraft carrier bought from Ukraine could begin sea trials in August, after postponing the original date from July 1.

Though the vessel is seen as a symbol of China's efforts to increase its naval power, the China Daily newspaper reported Tuesday that the warship is being readied for use primarily as a training vessel for pilots and deck crews.

China is the last permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to acquire an aircraft carrier. But Chinese media noted that the ship is considerably smaller than a U.S. carrier based nearby in Japan.

China has announced plans to build its own aircraft carriers. Defense experts say it will be years before they are ready for use.