Beijing, Mar.13 (ANI): China plans to put its first aircraft carrier into service later this year.
The China Daily quoted Xu Hongmeng, deputy commander of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, as telling the People's Daily that the PLA "has a plan" to put the aircraft carrier into service this year.
The carrier has undergone four sea trials since last year.
According to media reports, the former Varyag, which is docked in Dalian Port, in Northeast China's Liaoning province, is currently equipped with life-size model planes.
China's first aircraft carrier, a retrofitted former Soviet vessel, set out on its maiden voyage on August 10 and returned to port five days later.
It underwent three more sea trials in the Pacific.
Rear Admiral Cao Dongshen, a deputy at the 11th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, told China Daily on Monday that the refitted aircraft carrier will not be deployed as part of a single fixed fleet, but will keep traveling.
The carrier will be used mainly for experiments, training and scientific research, Cao said on the sidelines of the annual national legislature session.
China has three million square kilometers of sea area yet only one aircraft carrier, which is mainly committed to scientific research and training. (ANI)
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