First photos of Liaoning battle group made public

Updated: 2014-01-02 01:09

By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

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First photos of Liaoning battle group made public

A picture released on Wednesday shows the Liaoning carrier battle group as the nation's first aircraft carrier returns to its home port of Qingdao in Shandong province. Hu Kaibing/ FOR CHINA DAILY

But experts from the PLA said the four ships are not enough to protect the carrier.

Li Li, a professor with PLA National Defense University, said that Chinese destroyers are smaller in size and tonnage than their foreign counterparts and are thus incapable of carrying a large arsenal of weapons.

She said the Chinese navy will procure and deploy bigger destroyers of around 10,000 metric tons.

In addition to formation training, the military is training its pilots for the carrier-based J-15 fighter aircraft, said Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor-in-chief at Aerospace Knowledge magazine.

"Pilots must pass a set of sophisticated training drills before becoming qualified to take off and land on a carrier. The course usually takes at least two years," said Wang, who added that a lack of experience and J-15s could prolong the training needed for China's pilots to be capable of serving on carriers.

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