Chinese aircraft carrier heads to South China Sea
It said the ship was accompanied by two destroyers and a missile cruiser when it left its northern home port of Qingdao. The Liaoning has launched and recovered jet fighters but not yet been given its full complement of aircraft.
The carrier was bought from Ukraine more than a decade ago and extensively refurbished before entering service last year. At 57,000 tons, the Liaoning is a little over half the size of the U.S. Navy's Nimitz class carriers.
Since then, it has conducted several rounds of sea trials off China's northeast coast, but hasn't ventured as far as the South China Sea. China has developed civilian and military outposts there and used its coast guard to confront the ships of other nations that also claim parts of the sea.
China has described the carrier as an experimental platform but hasn't said whether it will play an active service role. The lengthy refurbishment was seen as a learning exercise for the building of China's own carriers, now believed to be under construction.
- China sends fighters into air defense zone 11/28/13
- U.S. flies B-52s into China defense zone 11/26/13
- House threatens to slash military funding over Bergdahl probe 4/24/15
- China submarine sale raises risk of clash 4/19/15
- Scuttled WWII aircraft carrier rediscovered 4/17/15
- Navy to exhume USS Oklahoma remains 4/16/15
- Navy officer pleads guilty in bribery scandal 4/15/15
- Cold War tensions rekindle near Russia 4/10/15
- Special ops troops doubt women can do job 4/5/15
- Navy underestimated sonar threat, judge says 4/2/15
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.