China’s first aircraft carrier Varyag has begun its second sea trial to carry out relevant scientific and research experiments amidst maritime disputes in the Asia-Pacific region.

The refitted aircraft carrier completed its first sea trial in August 2011 and returned to the shipyard to undergo further refurbishment and testing.

The 304.5m-long and 37m-wide vessel belongs to the Admiral Kuznetsov class of aircraft carrier and has a displacement capacity of 58,500t.

A former Soviet-era aircraft carrier, it is an upgraded version of a partially built vessel purchased from Ukraine in 1998 and is designed for training and research purposes.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has plans to use the carrier as a research and training platform in China.