Skip to comments.70-year dream of aircraft carrier close to reality
Posted on 04/07/2011 6:47:42 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
70-year dream of aircraft carrier close to reality
Minnie Chan and Julian Ryall in Tokyo
Apr 7, 2011
Twenty high-resolution pictures of China's first aircraft carrier, the 67,500-tonne Varyag, appeared on the Xinhua website yesterday, with captions saying the vessel was almost finished and expected to sail this year.
It was the first time official state media reported on the nation's first aircraft carrier project as well as indicating its construction progress at a shipyard in Dalian , Liaoning .
The Xinhua report came as Japan's National Institute for Defence Studies released its annual strategic review, which said the influence of Chinese generals on military policy was declining.
It said while there had been a marked upswing in Beijing's assertiveness in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, that, too, had been toned down in recent months.
The Xinhua picture captions said refitting work on the Varyag, a Soviet-designed Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier that China bought from Ukraine in 1998, was almost complete after more than a decade spent on reconstruction.
"A 70-year dream of an aircraft carrier that is all-Chinese will come true soon," one caption said, referring to a carrier proposal by the Kuomintang navy in the 1940s.
Citing the latest report of Canadian-based Kanwa Asian Defence Monthly, the captions confirmed the carrier would start sea trials this year after an active phased array radar system was installed on the vessel.
Andrei Chang, Kanwa's editor-in-chief, who has monitored China's carrier project for 20 years, said all the Xinhua photos of the vessel were the most recent he knew of.
"The pictures I used in the latest report of my magazine were shot in late February by our own photographer for an edition whose printing is not yet finished," he said, adding that the Xinhua photos clearly showed a month's progress since then.
"But those pictures carried by Xinhua all come from other mainland military websites, which might be taken by so-called mainland military enthusiasts."
It was at least the second time official media had quoted a source from the internet posted by military enthusiasts and overseas media to reconfirm Beijing's new weapon plans.
The first test flight of a new generation J-20 stealth fighter jet in January was another well-known example.
Chang estimated the carrier would undergo sea tests - including power system trials, harbour trials, close-range and high-sea trials - for about two years.
"After the sea trials are finished, it will also need at least eight years to test its radar and weapons systems such as the J-15, early warning planes and others on board," he said.
But China would have its first formal carrier fighting group in 10 years, after all the trials and tests were completed, he said.
"Since Varyag is a carrier for training purposes, it's possible that it will be equipped with magnetic or steam catapults instead of its originally designed ski-jump ramp take-off system," Chang said.
China's plan to develop its first aircraft carrier has been such an open secret that its seventh military white paper, issued last month, and an accompanying news conference both did not bother to mention it.
However, in December the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) revealed that Beijing put forward a plan for building aircraft carriers in its annual China Ocean Development Report in 2009.It said the State Council decided to make China a maritime superpower in 2003.
In late 2008, Beijing hinted for the first time that it was aiming to develop an aircraft carrier.
In November that year, PLA Major General Qian Lihua , director of the foreign affairs office of the Defence Ministry, told foreign media the world should not be surprised if China built an aircraft carrier.
In March 2009, Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie told his Japanese counterpart that China would not remain the only major power without an aircraft carrier forever. But the SOA report was the first official confirmation of China's carrier plans.
Refitting work on China's first aircraft carrier
We'll see if they are different this time. Frankly I think they are afraid of being "contaminated".
So...for about a decade, it's just an enourmous barge. How unimpressive.
I’m concerned China is soon going to be eating our lunch economically and militarily, and we have only our Presidents, Congress, Wall St and our former US corporations (now corps without a country) to blame. We handed them our economy and our market under the premise of fair trade and from that platform they are building their military.
I think it takes the USA about 6 years, start-to-finish, to create one of our latest Nimitz Class carriers.
A 70-year dream of an aircraft carrier that is all(?) Chinese may come true soon, but, God forbid, in a shooting war between matched rivals, it’ll have a still-floating expectancy of about 70 seconds beyond the initiation of hostilities, given the capabilities of modern subs, missiles, and torpedos. In America, today’s Navy might be a gayed-down “Force for Good” that projects tsunami and earthquake relief and helps Obama alert a dictator who “needs to go” that his “inner circle knows their days are numbered”, and “the noose has tightened”, but in the real deal, surface ships are just waiting for their prioritized destruction.
Does this mean the plan to turn it into a casino is defintely off the table?
And we will spend the decade, after ejecting Obama and cleaning up the mess he left behind, equipping all our carriers with megawatt-class Free Electron Lasers, equipping the F-35C/Pegasus UCAS with kilowatt-class FEL's for air combat and developing undetectable swarm weapons to fill Chinese skies and destroy any threat before it becomes airborne.
No, I am not asleep.
Maybe, just Maybe it is because they know there Missiles haven't made our Carriers obsolete..................................................................NAH! VICTORY TO THE PEOPLES STATE! (sorry just being your typical Debbie downer when it comes to the Chinese)
No matter, I still want to watch their carrier quals. Some beer, and hot dogs from about 2 miles away. My bet is they splash two planes, and have a fire on the flight deck the first day.
AND, assuming there are no cats on that jump deck, they should be able to do FLT deck certs in about 3 months.
A Navy Cross waiting to happen.
I would deploy all the Ford class vessels to the Atlantic. That way, we would be assured there’s no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.
Maybe they aren’t planning to use their missile on their own carrier.
The last Nimitz Class built, CVN GHW Bush, has no steam cats.
I just don’t see how this will work. Every time they launch a plane, they’ll put holes in two or three sails and then they have to stop to stitch up the sails.
Along with many other changes from the rest of the Nimitz Class hulls.
Wonder if Japan is interested in changing their constitution and building their navy now.
Contrary to popular belief by those outside China, China's aircraft career program is driven by the average Chinese citizen. The Chinese public, in general, have been very critical of their government for not having an aircraft carrier.
No way, Devil Dog! The Japs should buy a slightly used 1-owner carrier battle group from us! Dark Grey Creampuff, baby! All manuals and service records. E-Z Terms. Hand-Shake Credit Check. Walk in, float out!
Just to be on the safe side, Dog, grab those Pearl Harbor charts out of the nav station, OK?
Are you saying Chinese ships are junk?
The Chinese are having to start from scratch. The US, on the other hand, has all the infrastructure, designs, workforce, experience, etc. in place to allow for rapid construction of the aircraft carriers.
Also, the Nimitz have been around since the late 60's. And have had 40 years of improvements, design changes, etc. since. And a host of lessons learned since.
So, the biggest limitation in the US of doubling or even tripling America's aircraft carrier force is medicare, medicaid, and social security :)
And while welfare programs hurt as well, the big three are in fact the gorilla in the room.
The Japanese Navy is already one of the world's largest.
All your oceans are belong to us???
Japan doesn’t have a navy, it has a SELF-defence force!!
Judging its calibre depends on what you mean by offensive capabilities. While they don’t have land attack systems, their surface ships and diesel-electric subs are arguably among the best in the world and can take a heavy toll on the Chinese surface and aerial fleet. And unless you are talking of a budget which matches that of the US Navy, a carrier or two will not make a significant difference against China.
Does the Chinese government really care about the public’s view??? That’s a pretty weird way of looking at it especially since it’s state that controls the electronic and print media which publishes these “public demands”.
Chinese to name new carrier, “Flower of Peace”.
Probably because Annihilating Destroyer of Capitalist
Running Dog Splittists, is too long.
And the government do monitor the chat rooms for the true sentiment of the people. And certain government publications do allow for articles that are critical of government policies. As long as they don't advocate the overthrow of the government, there is alot of public sentiment that is known to the government and the government tries to follow.
And building a fleet of Chinese carriers is one of them.
Don't forget, even the Ceasars of Ancient Rome had to give in to what the public wanted. Not comparing China's government or its citizens to Ancient Rome, but just trying to make a point.
One thing that may surprise alot of people here on the FR is that while Chinese citizens are critical of their own government in how they treat their own citizens, they are also critical of their own government for backing down to foreign governments. And not having aircraft carriers, a stronger military, etc. would be seen as giving into the fear of foreigners and backing down at the expense of national security for the Chinese people.
In the end, the Chinese people are only insisting on the right to build a peace time military that is commensurate with their growing economy and their population.
And while many on the FR post China's military build up to Imperial Japan in pre-WWII, the Chinese citizens just don't see it that way, especially when given China's growing economy, resources, etc. to building just one or even 6 aircraft carriers.
So, really, it isn't so unrealistic for China to build a half dozen or so, given that China is 7 times larger than Brazil. And Brazil, as I mentioned earlier, has a carrier. With only one carrier for a nation of 200 million (Brazil), we don't say that Brazil is preparing for war.
—The first part has already happened. We must bring manufacturing back to the U.S..—
Yes, but how is that accomplished while simultaneously shrinking the size of the federal government and continuing to grow the GDP?
The easiest way to bring manufacturing back to the US is to place restrictions on imports, such as tariffs and quotas. Unfortunately the first groups who would be impacted by that are the small-to-medium-sized business that make so much use of imports. We would then see increased prices and job losses at EXACTLY the wrong time. Not to mention the increase in government size that would result from these regulations.
About behaving like a democracy, well we all saw how they treated Tibetan protesters and poor residents of Beijing ahead of the Olympics. About respecting people’s wishes, as long as people have jobs and the trains run on time, complaints will be few; that’s a universal truth. And it’s no different for China. It has little to do with want for or respect for democracy.
About wanting carriers, that’s hardly the issue here. China has far more territorial disputes than any other country and props up more rogue nations than any other regime.
You need to add another node to this equation-North Korea. The US/Japan and South Korea have shown little inclination to even consider isolating the North, let alone go to war. Which pretty means that they would be even less willing to do anything about Taiwan. Would the South Koreans want to risk war with China over Taiwan knowing that the Chinese run the show in Pyongyang??
You are correct. It gets complex indeed when talking about interrelations within the Western Pacific rim.
Actually I was wrong. Japan has TWO aircraft carriers.
China isn't going to try and keep up with the US, even though, potentially, in the future, she could. Being the world's policeman is a thankless job and something the Chinese do not want to get into.
I believe they are trying to address issues not just in Tibet but the Xighurs as well.
And as far moving people to make way for the Beijing Olympics, I'll take it one step further for you. There are nearly 100,000 protests in China every years. Most of it surrounding being compensated for property being taken by corrupt government officials, etc. and for just flat out being moved against their will.
But what do propose for China? This was a poor 3rd world country transitioning into a developed nation. The airport in Beijing was built in 4 years. Something that had to be done for the Olympics. America has the luxury to have public hearings. And don't forget there were conflicts in America in the early days of practicing eminent domain. The rail roads were built very quickly using 19th century technology. And there were conflicts in the process in which, the railroads won out with the backing of the federal government.
And you're right about trains running on time. However, many Chinese would rather China continue to move forward than to stop all progress until democracy comes about. Why not continue forward until then. I'm convinced democracy will come to China someday, but in the meantime, the people's wishes are being expressed more and more every year.
And as far supporting rogue nations, the US and Europe have done that in the past as well. I mean, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, by Western standards is a rogue nation (did you see the youtube video of the Prince in the Emmirates torture that poor Afghan worker?). And America supported Iraq early on. China's support, or rather indifference towards, rogue nations has more to do with her needing the energy resources and leaving all the human rights promotion to the US. No, its not right, but I hardly think the West has a right to point fingers.
As far as territorial disputes, well, they already have a larger military than any of its neighbors and haven't gone to war yet. Russia on the other hand, had already invaded Georgia. And ya gotta admit, if China had done what Russia did in Georgia, the global outcry (in particular from the West) would have been much much much worse. And getting back to the Tibet and the Xighurs, what if China had dropped bombs on them the way the Russians dropped bombs on Chechnya? Ya gotta admit, the world outcry would be deafening for the Chinese. Life, in many ways, is a matter of perspective.
I realize, from your perspective, I am making comparative moral comparisons. I'll be the first to admit, there are areas where the Chinese have behaved far worse (local officials have enslaved the disabled), but there are many instances when we can make a moral comparative comparison, i.e., the support or indifference to rogue nations. And those local officials who did enslave the disabled were the target of public backlash.
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The PLA slaughtered and destroyed Tibetans and their culture in a way which would make Stalin seem like an amateur. There are no more “legitimate complaints” (that's so People's Dailyish) since Beijing has been wise enough to resettle Han Chinese all over Tibet.
About rogue nations, when did the UK or US ever supply countries with WMD technology to tie down other democratic countries?? China has done that with Pakistan, North Korea and Iran and still continue to. China hasn't had to go to war in the past two decades because its rogue proxies keep the likes of India, Japan, South Korea and the US in check.
No one is disputing China's progress; but then Nazi Germany also made a lot of progress using a good number of criterion that you mentioned-improvement in infrastructure and national confidence.
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