People’s Daily recently reported that multiple senior Army generals confirmed a fully China-made aircraft carrier is about to be completed soon. The new aircraft carrier will be much more advanced than the current aircraft carrier named Liaoning, which was only partially made in China. Navy General Ding Haizhong stated that the Chinese Navy will get into exercises with the new ship as soon as it is delivered. The catapult technology used onboard the new carrier is considered very competitive even with the U.S. aircraft carriers. Navy Admiral Liu Xiaojiang said the construction process is very sophisticated, so it may not be delivered in 2015. When asked how many aircraft carriers the Chinese Navy needs, Liu Xiaojiang, expressing his opinion, said, “The more, the better.” Some experts speculated that the total number planned was six carriers. Liu emphasized that staffing the aircraft carriers with enough qualified pilots is very challenging. China is currently far behind in achieving this goal. He expressed the belief that these ships will take at least two to three years before they can sail far into the oceans.
Source: People’s Daily, March 9, 2015