'Liaoning' - China's 1st aircraft carrier conducts maiden live-fire drills amid rising tensions with US

In a show of strength amid increasing tensions with the United Sates over the South China Sea and Taiwan, China's first aircraft carrier battle group - 'Liaoning' - has carried out its maiden live-fire exercises on a massive scale.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 16:28 PM IST
'Liaoning' - China's 1st aircraft carrier conducts maiden live-fire drills amid rising tensions with US

Beijing: In a show of strength amid increasing tensions with the United Sates over the South China Sea and Taiwan, China's first aircraft carrier battle group - 'Liaoning' - has carried out its maiden live-fire exercises on a massive scale.

Aircraft carrier 'Liaoning' conducted the massive drills with live ammunition in the Bohai Sea, which involved dozens of ships and aircraft.

Several air-to-air, air-to-ship and ship-to-air missiles were also involved in the drill, the PLA Navy said in a statement.

The exercise was aimed at testing combination of various types and numbers of ships to optimise the carrier's combat ability, the Navy said.

The carrier, destroyers and frigates carried out exercises covering air interception, sea-based attacks and air-defense as well as reconnaissance, early warning and anti-missile systems.

The carrier's original design allows it to carry about 30 fixed-wing aircraft.

However, the time and exact location of the exercises were not disclosed.

The statement, however, maintained that the drill was held in the Bohai Sea which is located between Chinese coast off Dalian and North and South Korea.

Earlier reports said the aircraft carrier would be deployed in the disputed South China Sea when it is ready.

It was the first time that the weapons used on the carrier were displayed in public since it entered service in 2012.

Videos of the Liaoning's J-15 fighters firing missiles were also broadcast on China Central Television, the first time images of J-15 live-fire exercises have been shown to the public.

Rear Admiral Chen Yueqi, commander of the Liaoning carrier battle group, said the exercise is a "milestone" for the unit.

With PTI inputs