China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, anchored in a military port in Qingdao for the first time on the morning of Feb. 27, marking that the port is able to support the aircraft carrier and its supporting vessels. Military expert Li Jie told People's Daily Online that the port is a new home for the Liaoning, which can effectively protect it from air and underwater strikes.
Aircraft carrier "arrives home" when berthing in home port
When talking about what the home port means to an aircraft carrier, Li said that the Liaoning "arrived home" when it anchored in the home port. Both the aircraft carrier and its supporting vessels such as submarines and large comprehensive supply ships can berth in the port, and replenish supplies of water, gas, oil, and ammunition. Furthermore, the home port can effectively protect the Liaoning from air and underwater strikes.
Qingdao, most subtitle place for home port
Li said that while repairing and refurbishing the aircraft carrier formerly known as the Varyag, China was also making efforts to establish a suitable port for the aircraft carrier. Many factors were taken into consideration, including the water depth, sea area, ability to support various ships, convenient transportation, defense against air and underwater strikes, ability to provide timely and adequate supplies of water, gas, oil, and ammunition, and wharf facilities. Qingdao was found to be the most suitable place to build a home port for the aircraft carrier.
More home ports needed
Li said that no country would be satisfied with owning just one aircraft carrier because at least three carriers are needed to meet sea combat and patrol needs. One home port is not enough to support so many carriers. The United States owns many home ports for its aircraft carriers, which can meet the needs of future maritime operations. Overall, it is necessary to build more home ports.
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