China’s first aircraft carrier, Jet-15 to be deployed in August

China’s first aircraft is likely to be commissioned on August 1 and deployed in the contended South China Sea, adding fighter jets for a series of scientific exploration and sea trials.

“The military authority plans to let the aircraft carrier be commissioned this year,” Deputy Commander of Chinese navy Xu Hongmeng said.

Shanghai Daily also quoted Xu saying that the unnamed carrier has already taken part in four sea trials in the Pacific since August last year.

Meanwhile, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman said in an interview that the carrier would be used mainly for scientific research and training pilots for future carriers.

Since 1985, China has acquired four used aircraft carriers for study – the Australian HMAS Melbourne and the ex-Soviet carriers Minsk, Kiev and Varyag. The said carrier is redeveloped from the previously unfinished Varyag and is believed to be the first of the three being eyed for acquisition by the Chinese navy. 

Sources says that China has conceived of deploying J-15 fighters which is said to be the variant of Russia’s Su-33 to operate from the carrier. Military experts regard J-15 as the most suitable aircraft for the carrier. The vessel is reported to be capable of carrying around 30 fighters and helicopters as well as a crew of around 2,000.

Experts believe that China’s early deployment in SCS could stir up more tensions in the region and to counter America’s strategy in global supremacy at the sea.



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