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Home for China's 1st aircraft carrier introduced

Home for China's 1st aircraft carrier introduced

China's first aircraft carrier has been given a permanent base in the eastern port of Qingdao, and some of the special features of the harbor built to contain it were introduced Friday by a Hong Kong media outlet.

TVB News said the harbor took five years to construct and had to overcome more than 40 major technical problems, including the installment of two specially designed giant buoyancy tanks to ensure that the carrier, the Liaoning, remains moored safely.

The fuel, water and electricity requirements of an aircraft carrier are several dozen times greater than those of regular military ships, so a station has been constructed in the middle of the wharf that will provide electricity and fuel oil for the Liaoning.

The harbor is also equipped with specially designed vehicles, including crane trucks that can lift cargo weighing more than 1,000 kilograms onto the decks of the carrier. Oil transport vehicles can also deliver fuel oil though an extended pipeline.

Reports said that the facilities of the military port are being further improved.

The Liaoning is undergoing various training regimens to upgrade its combat capability, including takeoffs and landings of its carrier-based J-15 jet fighters.

Since its delivery to the People's Liberation Army Navy last September, the Liaoning has undergone a series of sea trials and will conduct further deep-sea, and carrier-borne fighter combat training this year, according to the report.

The PLA Daily, the Chinese military's official media outlet, also ran a two-page special report on its first carrier, in which it introduced the daily operations of the ship.

It noted that the vessel boasts cafeterias, its own TV stations, post office and supermarket.

At 67,000 tons, it is so large that its crew often get lost trying to find their way to the 3,000 cabins. The Liaoning is a refurbished Soviet-era carrier purchased from Ukraine in 1998.

Source: By Su Yen-fong and Lilian Wu (ENDITEM/J) Taipei, CNA News - 19 April 2013

Photo: The Chinese Liaoning Aircraft Carrier (Photo by China's Ministry of National Defense)


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