Chinese Navy increases aircraft carrier pilot recruits

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/28 23:50:41

China has recruited 41 percent more cadet pilots for aircraft carrier fighter jets this year than 2018, a significant move according to Chinese military analysts noting how it provided increased talent reserve for Chinese carriers.

The 41 percent increase is significant and comes at a time when China's aircraft carrier sector is undergoing rapid development, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times on Sunday.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's annual pilot recruitment ended in early July with nearly 20 percent more cadet pilots enrolled year-on-year. The numbers also revealed a 41 percent enrollment increase of cadet pilots for carrier-based fighter jets, the PLA Daily reported on Friday.

China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is in operation. A second carrier is expected to be ready for service soon, while a third one is under construction.

"China has been training more pilots for aircraft carriers for some time now, and this upward trend will continue to guarantee warship operations," the military expert said, noting that China will not only have more carriers in the future, but the sizes will be bigger, enabling them to carry more aircraft, thus requiring more pilots.

Flying a carrier jet is widely known to be difficult. Many pilots who signed up for the carrier recruitment program did not pass the early selection rounds.

Over 4,500 pilots passed initial selection round earlier this year, almost twice the amount from 2018, which was roughly 2,600.

For the closing round last year, 800 pilots made it to the final selection, but exactly how many were enrolled was not announced. 

Posted in: MILITARY

blog comments powered by Disqus