Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ex-‘Varyag’ gets unusual command

China’s first aircraft carrier will fall under direct command of the Central Military Commission, the highest state military organ, making it a “strategic” asset similar to China’s nuclear arsenal

The retrofitted Soviet-era hull has been assigned a commander and is set to be delivered to the Chinese navy by Aug. 1 next year, with entry into service in the South China Sea on Oct. 1, 2012. A ceremony unveiling its new name will be held in October this year.

My article, published today in Jane’s Defence Weekly, continues here (subscription required).

During last week’s sea trial, the carrier’s engines, electronic and navigation systems and weapons were all checked, with unconfirmed reports by Xinhua of a possible aircraft takeoff and landing on the flight deck.

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