Chinese Military reportedly carried out it first live-fire drills with the use of its first ever aircraft carrier in the northeastern Bohai Sea, which comes in close proximity to Korea. According to Chinese media, ten vessels and 10 aircraft engaged in air-to-air and sea-to-air combat drills with guided missiles. According to the Dailymail, China ever growing presence in the South China sea has been a major cause of concern for the United States. The US has criticised China’s militarisation of its maritime outposts and conducting air and naval patrols regularly. It was reported that the Liaoning performed various drills with numerous destroyers and frigates which also involved many expected scenarios during a battle, like the reconnaissance, aircraft interception and sea strikes. The exercises also involved missile defence.
According to reports, the Navy’s training bureau’s chief said that the event had been planned as a part of the training schedule, which also aimed at verifying capabilities of personnel and weapons. Describing the exercise as a milestone to CCTV, Rear Admiral Chen Yueqi said that it had enabled the Chinese armed forces to organise a carrier battle group and test the training of their sailors and pilots.
Video: Chinese Navy conducted a drill for a large fleet of naval vessels and aircraft including aircraft carrier Liaoning in the Bohai Sea pic.twitter.com/wKRmpl7CI1
— People’s Daily,China (@PDChina) December 15, 2016
Although the components of the battle group was not disclosed, a senior researcher of the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute told Chine Daily that the battle group was expected to have 3 Type 052C/D destroyers, with advanced missile launch systems and latest air defence radar, 3 Type 054A frigates and one attack submarine. The Ministry posted the photos of the exercise of the J-15 fighters on the deck on its website. China in November had said that the aircraft carrier Liaoning was prepared to walk into combat when necessary. Thus marks a milestone for the Chinese Navy which has reportedly invested heavily in its ability to harness power from China’s shores.