Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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US Aircraft Carrier Fleet on the Decline, claims Chinese Military ‘Expert’

Ocean deep

(Photo : PLAN) CNS Liaoning battle group.

The United States Navy's 10 Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarriers -- the most powerful naval fighting force on the planet -- count for nothing against the "stamina" of the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN) only naval battle group centered around PLAN's only carrier, the Soviet-era CNS Liaoning (CV-16) that began building in 1985.

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This ludicrous claim was made by Chinese "military expert" Liang Fang, who works for the Department of Strategic Studies of the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Liang said although the Liaoning's carrier battle group isn't comparable with its far stronger U.S. counterpart in tonnage or number of aircraft, "it nevertheless boasts stamina and a bright future."

From the perspective of future development, Liang said the U.S. military "clearly lacks stamina, and the country's insufficient military spending is proof of that."

He said that frequent problems with U.S. Navy's McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Super Hornet, Northrop Grumman F-35C stealth jet and other carrier-borne fighters "have seriously hampered the aircraft carriers' combat capability."

As proof of this claim, Liang cited inaccurate reports stating the U.S. Navy reduced the size of its aircraft carrier battle group after the end of the U.S. involvement in the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011.

In contrast, the PLA's combat capability "has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade," according to Liang.

Liang noted China's second aircraft carrier is under construction, and PLAN is expected to own a third aircraft carrier battle group in the future "capable of safeguarding territorial sovereignty and maritime rights."

Liang noted that China is developing its aircraft carrier technology to defend national interests and not to seek hegemony the way the U.S. is doing.

Apart from CNS Liaoning, China has two other carriers: the CNS Shandong (CV-17), which is expected to join the PLAN in 2020 and a third and as yet unnamed carrier that will launch aircraft the same way the U.S. Navy does using steam catapults.          

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