Japan Asks China to Explain Need for Aircraft Carriers


Japan’s defense ministry addressed to Chinese counterparts with request to explain the Chinese Navy’s need for aircraft carriers, reports Defense News.

“As an aircraft carrier, it is of a highly maneuverable and offensive nature. We want China to explain the reasons why it needs it”, said Japanese defense minister Toshimi Kitazawa. As for Tokyo, commissioning of aircraft carriers into Chinese Navy would considerably change military balance in the region.

Presently, China completes aircraft-carrying cruiser Shi Lang (former Soviet Varyag) bought from Ukraine in 1998. The ship’s sea trials started on Aug 10. Shi Lang returned to Dalian port on Aug 14 for further outfitting. Expectedly, the ship will join Chinese Navy in 2012. As was reported in mid-July 2010, China started construction of a domestically-designed aircraft carrier.

Generally, according to different appraisals, China intends to form 4-6 carrier strike groups to be deployed in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Two aircraft-carrying ships are expected to be completed by 2015.

Geng Yanshen, representative of Chinese defense ministry declared late in July 2011 that the aircraft carrier Shi Lang would be used entirely for science and researches as well as for tests and crew training. As for Yanshen, application of the ship would be fully determined by China’s defensive doctrine.

Later on, senior researcher of China’s Academy of Military Science General Luo Yuan told that China needed at least three carriers in order to protect its regional interests in full. As for Yuan, in 2014 Indian Navy would operate three carriers, and Japan would build three Project DDH landing ships which can be easily refitted into full-fledged aircraft carriers if needed.

Source: rusnavy, August 18, 2011;