China's first aircraft carrier the Liaoning berthed at a naval port in Qingdao for the first time on the morning of Feb. 27. This marks that China's carrier homeport has been equipped with support capabilities for the berthing of the aircraft carrier. The carrier-based aircrafts will perform further intensive trainings after the aircraft carrier enters the homeport, said Military expert Li Jie in an exclusive interview with People's Daily Online.
The carrier-based aircraft will perform more in-depth trainings on tactical subjects and formation
In regard to the trainings of the carrier-based aircrafts after the aircraft carrier enters the homeport, Li Jie said that the carrier-based aircrafts only performed limited takeoff and landing trainings previously, so in the future more takeoff and landing trainings will be performed. Meanwhile, the carrier-based aircrafts will perform more intensive trainings on tactical subjects and formation that adapts to the requirements in combat operations.
Regarding the question whether the carrier-based aircrafts have already acquired combat effectiveness, Li Jie said that the completion of takeoff and landing trainings does not mean the acquisition of combat effectiveness, which requires a larger number of aircrafts and the completion of a considerable number of training subjects.
More than one carrier is needed to be a naval power
Regarding foreign media's report saying China will first build another four conventional aircraft carriers, and then build two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, Li said the report could not be confirmed. However, through analysis of other naval powers in the world, we can see that a naval power generally has more than one aircraft carrier. Three or more are required so that if one is under maintenance in the factory and another is performing trainings, the third can be used for combat patrols. However, in consideration of national strength, financial resources, and military scale, not all countries fully comply with this requirement.
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