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China's new aircraft carrier begins sea trials

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BEIJING (PTI): Simulated landing trials of fighter aircraft on the deck of China's first aircraft carrier have started, less than three days after the revamped old Soviet ship embarked on its maiden sea trial to check all parameters, state media said Saturday.

The simulated landing trails of the ship borne fighters were being carried after a navigation ban and radio control notice was put in place, state-run Global Times said today.

The 67000-tonne carrier was originally built by the former Soviet Union, which failed to complete its construction before collapsing in 1991.

Named as Varyag it was bought from Ukraine, which disarmed it and removed its engines before selling it to China.

Unlike the American aircraft carrier, the Chinese one has a ski jump device fitted to its deck for the landing and take off.

While reporting on the landing trials, the newspaper, however, has not mentioned the type fighters jets being used in the simulated exercises.

Various reports in the past mentions China explored possibility to use the soviet Su-33 planes or the home made J-15 planes for the carrier.

While the carrier drew concerns in the neighbourhood as it is being launched amid escalated disputes between China and host of neighbours over the disputed islands in the South China, Chinese officials played down the significance saying that it is only meant for research and training and would take years before it is fully commissioned.

The US too asked China to clarify why it needed an aircraft carrier. China argue that it is last of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to acquire the carrier and point to several countries including India already having them.

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