China aircraft carrier capabilities tested on latest mission
Saturday, 14 January 2017 BEIJING (AP) — China's sole aircraft carrier has returned home following a far-ranging three-week training mission during which its combat capabilities were closely scrutinized and speculation soared over what future role the flat-top will play amid China's growing military ambitions. The Defense Ministry said the 60,000-ton Liaoning sailed in to the eastern port of Qingdao on Friday along with its battle group that includes destroyers, frigates, a supply ship and anti-submarine craft. Japanese and Taiwanese surveillance aircraft and ships closely monitored the Liaoning along its journey, seen by some as a sign of how China plans to use it to demonstrate its willingness to back up its territorial claims with military muscle. Designated first as an experimental and training platform, the Liaoning represents a new degree of sophistication in the Chinese armed forces that includes ballistic missile submarines and prototype stealth fighters. CSIS also says the ship's Soviet steam turbine power plant was badly designed and poorly maintained, probably limiting it to a typical speed of around 20 knots.