China Carries Out 1st Live Fire Exercise With Its 1st Aircraft Carrier
Dozens of Chinese ships and aircraft took part in a live fire exercise in the Bohai Sea in Eastern China last week. China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, participated in the live fire drill that covered air interception, reconnaissance, sea-based attacks, and early warning and anti-missile systems. This was the first live fire exercise the Liaoning has participated in since being commissioned in 2013.
The event was broadcast on the state-run ‘China Central Television’ last Thursday night. A total of 10 aircraft and 10 vessels participated in the drills. China-developed J-15 Fighter Jets launched several missiles, all hitting their targets. Xu Ying, the commander of the navy’s J-15 squadron, told reporters:
“Through this exercise, our confidence in the weaponry and the entire system was boosted.”
These drills were conducted just one month after Chinese officials declared the Liaoning is combat ready. The hull of the ship was purchased from the Ukraine over a decade ago. The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation has been refitting the carrier for nearly a decade. They plan to use the experience gained from refitting the Liaoning, which is still running on 1970s-era Russian TB-12 engines, to build the country’s first domestically made aircraft carrier. Chinese officials state they are planning a larger Type 001A Vessel that will run on modified TB-12 engines.