China's first aircraft carrier battle group to be formed next year

5:33:00 AM
BEIJING, -- China's first aircraft carrier battle group is expected to be formed next year to make up for the shortcoming of the limited combat radius of its existing fleets, according to a report by, run by Beijing's mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency.

Citing the Military-Industrial Courier, a Russia-based weekly, the report said that escorted by 12 vessels of different classes, China's first carrier, the "Liaoning," which was purchased from Ukraine in 1998, embarked on its first blue-water passage in early 2014.

This means that China is considering different approaches for forming its aircraft carrier battle groups, including the one used by the United States Navy.

China is planning to build itself two new aircraft carriers with bigger displacements and greater power, with the long-term goal of having four new carriers, it added.

With a driving power of 200,000 horsepower, the Liaoning has 67,500 displacement tons at maximum load.

China began to build its first new aircraft carrier in 2013, which is expected to have "initial combat ability" in 2020.

China also saw the number of its surface vessels increase by more than two fold -- from 15 missile frigates add destroyers in 2000 to 50 in 2014.

Meanwhile, China has also spared no efforts in overhauling its old vessels by equipping them with its most advanced weapons, the report said.

For example, China's latest model of frigates are equipped with Russian-made P-270 supersonic anti-ship missiles with a range of 209 kilometers and the self-made YJ62 anti-ship missiles (241 km), YJ83 missiles (152 km) YJ8A missles (104 km), while its Luyang-class or 052D destroyers, the most advanced frigates in China's navy, will be equipped with vertical launching systems and long range anti-ship missiles.

China is also developing 10,000-ton cruisers that are expected to be armed with massive anti-air, anti-ship, ship-based cruise missiles, and even magnetic weapons in the future, according to the report.

The People's Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning (CV-16) and escorts during South China Sea deployment.

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