China refitting aircraft carrier body for research, training
( Source: Xinhua ) 2011-July-27 16:32
|Spokesman of China's Defense Ministry Geng Yansheng speaks on a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, July 27, 2011. China's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country is making use of an imported aircraft carrier body for refitting to be used for scientific research, experiment and training. (Xinhua/Li Gang)|
BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) -- China's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the country is making use of an imported aircraft carrier body for refitting to be used for scientific research, experiment and training.
Geng Yansheng, spokesman of the ministry, made the remarks at a regular press conference. It was the first time for China to officially confirm it is in pursuit of an aircraft carrier program.
"The warship has no problem with sailing since it has been docked in the sea, and the time for its maiden experimental voyage depends on the schedule of the refit," said Senior Colonel Geng.
"As an important part of the whole research and training program, training for carrier-borne aircraft pilots is also in progress," he said.
The spokesman said that the pursuit of an aircraft carrier program would not change Chinese navy's strategy of inshore defense.
The vessel was an empty aircraft carrier shell bought from Ukraine which disarmed it and removed its engines.
The carrier's original builder, the Soviet Union, named the warship Varyag yet failed to complete its construction before it collapsed in 1989.