China's first domestically built aircraft carrier to be combat-ready by year-end: Report

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Beijing, Oct 27 (PTI) China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier Shandong has completed regular testing and training missions at sea and is expected to be combat-ready by this year-end, state-run media here reported on Tuesday.

Chinese aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shandong have recently completed routine training and sea trials, the Chinese military said last month.

Liaoning, a refit of the Soviet-era ship, was commissioned in 2012, while Shandong was commissioned into the PLA Navy in December last year.

Official media reports say China plans to have six aircraft carriers.

Shandong focused on actual combat after serving in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy for 10 months, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday.

The testing and training included aviation support, damage control and emergency response, the CCTV reported, quoting the ship commander Senior Captain Lai Yijun.

The exercises focused on actual combat and have effectively tested the performance of the weapons on the ship. The testing and training show that the carrier's core performance improved, Lai said.

Shandong is China's second aircraft carrier. It is also the country's first domestically built aircraft carrier.

As Shandong has just served for less than a year, it is still undergoing basic training to test the performance of its equipment and enhance research on the operations and training of the ship, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the state-run Global Times on Tuesday.

In the future, the ship will conduct more exercises on coordination with aircraft and ships, as well as coordination with other carrier strike group, Zhang said. PTI KJV SCY SCY