China has dismissed reports that it will launch a second aircraft carrier later this year, as it recognises the challenges involved with fixed-wing flight operations at sea.

In a report by state news agency Xinhua on the Chinese defence ministry's website, spokesman Yang Yujun denied "foreign media reports" that construction of an aircraft carrier is underway in Shanghai.

The comments come days after the commissioning of China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, on 26 September.

"[The Liaoning] is only the first step of our aircraft carrier development. We still have a long way to go," he says.

Though China has been developing the Shenyang J-15, a copy of the Sukhoi Su-33, for several years, it is unclear when flight tests will commence aboard the Liaoning.

Source: Flight International