China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning has recently left East China’s Shandong province to start a new training mission.
The Liaoning is the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Surface Force. It has reached its full capacity and is now ready to "fight against enemies",Global Times reported Monday.
The aircraft carrier has been described as a surface platform for tests and training by the PLA's official media and currently as having a real combat capacity.
“At this moment, we are doing our best to promote our strength and use it to prevent war, and are prepared for actual combat at any time." Li Dongyou, the political commissar of the Liaoning said.
As a combat platform, regarding technology and capability to execute missions, China still lags behind the US, but three high-ranking US officials who visited the Liaoning before all gave a positive evaluation on the management affairs on the carrier.
The training photos displayed on official Chinese military websites, indicated that the ship had taken on its full accompaniment of aircraft.
The Liaoning, which was purchased as an incomplete Soviet-made hull from Ukraine in 1998, was commissioned in 2012.
China is also in the process of constructing its first indigenously built carrier, which the Defense Ministry said late last month was proceeding smoothly, with the hull having already been assembled.