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China’s first aircraft carrier completes sea trials

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BEIJING (PTI): China's first aircraft carrier that raised global concerns has returned to its base after completing a four-day maiden voyage to test its system and capabilities.

The carrier, refitted from an imported platform called Varyag from Ukraine, was towed back to the Dalian port in northeast China's Liaoning Province by tugboats after four days of tests in the Yellow Sea, official Xinhua news agency said.

During the trials the carrier's engines, electronic systems, navigations and weapons were checked.

The report said all its weapons systems were concealed from public view. China reportedly plans to build two more such carriers.

The first sea trials were in line with the schedule of the carrier's refitting project work would continue, it quoted officials as saying.

The carrier is expected to officially start service with the Chinese Navy in August next year and an official naming ceremony for the vessel would be held next October.

It said the carrier might also have tested the taking-off and landing of aircraft, though China yet to reveal what type of aircraft it plans to use on its first carrier.

Yin Zhuo, a Chinese military expert, claimed the carrier's radar system was among the most advanced in the world.

The Chinese-made system, known as the "Chinese Aegis" to compare with the Aegis Combat System initially used by the United States Navy, can cope with supersonic missiles as efficiently as the US system, he said.

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