Beijing: China's first aircraft carrier, which expected to be ready early next year, is undergoing scientific tests after completing two rounds of sea trials, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

After achieving its objectives during its previous sea trials, the vessel is now doing follow-up scientific testing as planned, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said.
   
 Research and testing will be a long process and scientific testing and training at sea will continue in the future, Yang told reporters at a briefing.

 The aircraft carrier had completed all refitting and testing work as scheduled after its first sea trial in August.

According to previous reports, China plans to deploy it in the troubled South China Sea (SCS) which in recent months was the scene of serious difference between Beijing and several South East Asian countries who contested its claims that the entire SCS belonged to it.

The carrier is capable of hosting 30 Chinese-made J-15 fighter jets and helicopters and will have a crew of around 2,000.

The aircraft carrier was originally built by the former Soviet Union which named it Varyag. The Soviet Union collapsed before the vessel was completed in Ukraine in 1991.

China imported the empty shell of the still-unnamed aircraft carrier from Ukraine and refitted it modern systems.

Despite making rapid advances in defence technologies, China is yet to come up with its own aircraft engine and continue to rely on supplies from Russia and Ukraine.

(Agencies)