Aircraft Carriers Continue To Signal Military Might in Asia

Expensive and perhaps soon obsolete ships still sought by countries in the region


Hong Kong (CNN) — Want to be an Asian superpower? Then an aircraft carrier, it seems, is the minimum requirement for joining this elite club.

In China, a retro-fitted former Ukrainian carrier dating back to the Soviet era is the flagship of the country's hopes for a "blue water" navy—a fleet that can operate on the high seas thousands of nautical miles from base. India has launched its first home built aircraft carrier as part of a plan to operate three carrier battle groups by 2020.