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China's first aircraft carrier completes crucial tests

Chinese Navy's sole aircraft carrier Liaoning. A file photo

BEIJING (PTI): China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has completed major and crucial tests during a three-month voyage and returned to its home-port on Sunday.

During the voyage that started on June 11, the refitted carrier witnessed more than 100 sorties of landing and takeoff by various aircraft, including the J-15 carrier-borne fighter, the official Liberation Army Daily (Jiefang ribao) said.

The Liaoning is the first such carrier which is integrating a number of weapon systems, specially the newly developed aircraft.

J-15 fighters took off and landed on the carrier with maximum load and various weapons. Some observers have questioned if J-15 could take off and land on the carrier with a full load of weapons.

The tests have resulted in further improvement of the carrier's flight control processes, according to the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army.

The voyage is the longest and farthest that has been taken by the Liaoning since its maiden voyage, the report said.

It is also the first since it based its home-port in Qingdao in February.

The Liaoning is China's only aircraft carrier in operation. It was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and delivered to the navy on September 25, 2012.

China plans to develop more carriers in the next few years.

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