Despite all this, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said China planned to establish four aircraft carrier battle groups
by 2030, with three combat-ready at any given time.
Carrier battle groups
include ships equipped with advanced air-and-missile defense systems such as Aegis.
China will take several years to figure out aircraft-carrier operations, build more carriers, and, importantly, learn to use carriers as part of carrier battle groups
. An aircraft-carrier is only the core of a carrier battle group
, which includes surface-to-surface missile carrying ships, other escorts, helicopters, and submarines, as required.
According to Chinese naval experts, it is too early to say when the third vessel would be launched, but China plans to have four aircraft carrier battle groups
in service by 2030.
'The vacuum will be felt more in disaster relief operations because in many typhoons in the past, Americans have been the first responders, even sending entire carrier battle groups
to help in rescue and reconstruction,' Recto said in a statement.
"Washington has deployed two carrier battle groups
around the South China Sea, and it wants to send a signal by flexing its muscles: As the biggest powerhouse in the region, it awaits China's obedience," it said.
The event will mark the unusual occurrence of combining two Strike Carrier Battle Groups
in a comprehensive training evolution supported by 10 aircraft from Airborne Tactical Advantage Company.
With six carrier battle groups
, China will be within hailing distance of US capabilities which are built around 10 carrier groups, with two under construction.
Aircraft carrier battle groups
replaced the battleship as the main element of naval strength.
In 1996 it sent two aircraft carrier battle groups
to waters near the island after China lobbed missiles into the sea to try to deter Taiwanese from voting for President Lee Teng-hui.
Stennis to the Middle East four months ahead of schedule to ensure there are at least two carrier battle groups
in the Gulf region - with the US Navy having had two carriers operating in the area for quite some time.