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Combat Alert: New Aircraft Carriers to Increase China’s Striking Power

© AP Photo / Zha ChunmingA destroyer of the South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy fires a missile during a training exercise.
A destroyer of the South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy fires a missile during a training exercise. - Sputnik International
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In January 2014 the Chinese government announced that work on the second aircraft carrier began in the Chinese city of Dalian and it plans to build four ships of this type.

The report states that the company’s “priority missions” are to build nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier. It also mentions that progress on these projects has been steady.

The new carrier fleet will significantly expand the capabilities of the People’s Republic of China for the protection of its interests beyond its borders, experts said, referring to the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan - Sputnik International
My Way is the Right Way: China Stands its Ground in South China Sea Dispute
So far, the Chinese Navy has a single aircraft carrier “Lyaolin” (former heavy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier “Varyag”). During the division of the USSR property in 1988, “Varyag” was awarded to Ukraine and four years later it was sold to China for $20 million (less than the price of a luxury yacht).

According to official data, China bought the carrier for the organization of a floating hub, but after a series of tests and repairs, the ship was handed over to the Navy under the name of “Lyaolin” bearing the serial number 16.

According to the Pentagon, by 2030 Beijing expects to expand the fleet in East China and South China Sea by four to six aircraft carriers groups.

The Pentagon report goes on to mention that China’s home-based carriers “would be capable of improved endurance and of carrying and launching more varied types of aircraft, including electronic warfare, early warning, and anti-submarine, thus increasing the potential striking power of a PLA Navy ‘carrier battle group’ in safeguarding China’s interests in areas outside its immediate periphery,” media reports.

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