Chinese shipbuilder hopes to expand capabilities following carrier success
By Jon Grevatt
China's largest naval shipbuilder, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), intends to boost its industrial capabilities in order to construct additional aircraft carriers for the China People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in line with Beijing's plan to develop a blue-water maritime force.
China's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning , was commissioned by the PLAN in September following an extensive rebuilding programme that lasted nearly a decade. The 59,439-tonne former Soviet Navy carrier was rebuilt by CSSC subsidiary Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company.
In comments published by state-run media on 20 November, CSSC's newly elected chairman Hu Wenming said the shipbuilding group - one of 10 defence enterprises controlled directly by the State Council - was ready "at any time" to build additional aircraft carriers for the PLAN, but indicated that CSSC had to undergo further industrial and technological development to do so.
"We must enhance our independent weapons and equipment research and production capacity to match the country's clout, and independently build our own aircraft carriers," he said.
Hu went on to explain that during the Liaoning rebuilding programme CSSC/Dalian established a research and development institute and that its workforce doubled during the life or the reconstruction project.195 of 327 words
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