A recruitment campaign has been launched for aircraft carrier cadet pilots by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
Cadets will learn on a new and better type of training aircraft which more closely resembles the J-15, a Chinese military insider said Tuesday.
The Naval Aviation University has received a training aircraft more similar to China's only current carrier-based J-15 fighter jet, Wang Yunfei, a naval expert and retired PLA Navy officer, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The aircraft will improve training efficiency this year, Wang said.
Each carrier needs dozens of fighter pilots, Wang noted. China will need hundreds of cadets, he said.
Male Chinese students aged 16-19 who graduated from normal senior high school can apply to take enrollment exams, the PLA Daily reported on Tuesday.
"With the Liaoning in service, the Type 001A undergoing sea trials, the third carrier under construction and a fourth already in planning, the PLA Navy will naturally need more carrier-based fighter jets, which means huge demand for pilots," Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the PLA in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"Fighter pilots for carriers are extremely scarce at the moment," Li said.
After participating in exams to be held from September to April across the country, qualified students will be enrolled in June and July at the Naval Aviation University in Yantai, East China's Shandong Province.
The university has 10 campuses and training facilities across the country, according to a Friday notice on chsi.com.cn, the website of the China Higher-education Student Information under the Ministry of Education.
The student will become a naval officer after four years' study, the notice said.
Those with excellent scores will also be referred to Peking University, Tsinghua University or Beihang University in Beijing to finish their bachelor degree studies in a dual degree program, it said.
The students do not need to pay for the study and will have a stipend, the notice read.