Skip to comments.China's first aircraft carrier starts sea trial
Posted on 08/09/2011 9:22:42 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
China's first aircraft carrier starts sea trial
By Marianne Barriaux (AFP) 4 hours ago
BEIJING China's first aircraft carrier has begun its inaugural sea trial, the defence ministry said Wednesday, a move likely to stoke concerns about the nation's rapid military expansion.
Beijing only recently confirmed it was revamping an old Soviet ship to be its first carrier, adding to worries among its neighbours over the country's military build-up and growing assertiveness on territorial issues.
"According to trial plans, the first sea trial will not take long," the defence ministry said in a statement.
"After returning to the shipyard (in the port city of Dalian), the carrier will continue its refit and test work."
Beijing last month sought to play down the capability of its first carrier, saying the vessel would be used for training and "research".
Chen Bingde, the nation's top military official, only provided the first official acknowledgment of the aircraft carrier in a Hong Kong newspaper interview in early June.
But media reports and military analysts have said for years that the 300-metre (990-foot) ship was in development.
The ship, once called the Varyag, was originally built for the Soviet navy. Construction was interrupted by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Andrei Chang, head of the Kanwa Information Centre, which monitors China's military, told AFP the trial would likely only last about an hour.
"The first sea trial is just for testing different items, like whether the engines work or not," he said, adding that from Soviet and French aircraft carrier experience, on-off sea trials would continue for another year or two.
Last week Japan voiced concern over China's growing assertiveness and widening naval reach and over what it called the "opaqueness" of Beijing's
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IIRC, this is an old WWII POS they spent 5 years retrofitting.
If we are worried about chine, we at least have a few years to not worry about the sea, since China can’t use all it’s resources to build an Aircraft carrier from scratch.
And anyone in the world can see that sloping take-off ramp is dumber than dirt.
I won’t stop worrying completely, but it is a little comforting to see China isn’t the powerhouse we imagine it to be.
It was a cruiser
[Chang. . .had not seen any form of arresting gear on the carrier — the mechanical system that rapidly decelerates a plane as it lands. . .”That’s very strange. It’s very complicated technology and the Chinese haven’t installed it. . .they can’t land any fighters, probably only helicopters.”]
It may be this ship is intended to be an LPH carrying troops and helicopters for amphibious operations. But the photos shows what looks like the flight deck ending in a jump ramp like the small Royal Navy carriers have.
It's a day that has been coming for a number of years as they have refitted the old Varyag. Now she's out to sea.
They have developed an effective strike fighter for her too...a modernized, updated version of the russina SU-33 called the J-15. It will take them years to become effective in carrier operations, particularly air operations...but they are jumping in with both feet with this carrier, and the two more they are already building simultaneously at Shanghai.
it is creating a naval arms raise in the Western Pacific as the Indians, Japanese, Australians, and Korea all scramble to devlop their own carrier type vessels. The Chinese beat the Indians in launching this one as the Indans are refitting another old Russian Carrier and building two of their own.
Thanks for the pics, bruinbirdman.
That “thing” isn’t very impressive. I guess it would need the same protection as one of our carriers.
I would think with that ramp a stall would be a very real risk.
China has come a long way since the “Great Leap Forward” days of Mao-Tse-Dung when they had barely a few working tanks.
A nation can only military power if it is an economic power first. Obama & the democrats have reduced this economy to a disgraceful situation with multi-Trillion dollar deficits, Obamacare, regulations galore, restrictions on energy exploration, and throwing all kinds of obstacles in front of small & medium size businesses. If he wins a 2nd term, I will not be shocked if China will be able to project gretaer military power than us. But then we will be closer to France and Germany in military strength, which is the goal of this president.
The ski-ramp is the only meaningful alternative to not having a catapult; you would need a carrier with nuclear power to have catapults capable of launching fighters like the SU-33. And for what it’s worth, the Varyag still has plenty of hull-life left in it.
I still say hit it with about 10 cruise missiles.
Very impressive websites.
Will the US Navy still be # 1 in 5 or 10 years?
Obama would sell the whole US Navy to China and Russia if he could get away with it.
It is a pretty strong design...though not nearly up to our carriers.
The point is, the Chinese have been embarked for the last ten years in a massive naval buildup while we have been buisly downsizing.
It will take them years to get up to snuff on carrier ops, but they are jumoping in, putting this carrier out (and it will be an effective platform and a dangerous one if we do nmot take it seriously with its escorts and air wing), and are building two more simultabneously at Shanghai.
Their close in defense is impressive with four 18-round anti-missile launchers that are very similar to our RAM launchers, four, ten-barrell, 30mm CIWS, four multiple anti-torpedo missile launchers, etc.
No today or tomorrow, but if we continue to sit on our laurels, they could pose a significant threat in the next 10 years.
As to escorts, in the last ten years the PLAN has developed A LOT of them. They are building modern, AEGIS-like (with VLS, PARS, Battle Management, etc) DDGs and very effectiove, modern multi-role FFGs for escorts and new SSNs too.
We better take them seriously. The Indians, Australians, Japanese and Koreans are.
Under Bachmann and Caine as Veep its just a target..
Here's a a page with to scale comparisons
Here's a a page with to scale comparisons
The second site has been tracking the PLAN buildup for the last 7-8 years.
if we do not reverse our course, then in ten years they will definitely be challenging us int he WESTPAC.
We could outdistance them and avoid that, but only if we turned up the heat now, IMHO.
Thanks, Jeff. Will do.
You are to be commended for your good work.
Link to them all from JEFFHEAD.COM
>>No today or tomorrow, but if we continue to sit on our laurels, they could pose a significant threat in the next 10 years.<<
I admit that is the underlying point. And the current holder of that direction is barry the zero, which should scare the crap out of every American (but does not).
Thanks for clarifying — I knew it was a renovation, but I got the era wrong. Thank God the Chinese can’t put together something like Newport News - YET!
Thank you for setting me straight.
That carrier looks pretty spiffy since the retrofit. It is definitely nothing to sneeze at. We ignore their new training platform at our own peril. This is no time to be complacent. Plus, it’s good to see you posting, Jeff.
China has one massive advantage-it’s the world’s largest shipbuilder. While naval and commercial shipping is not the same, they do have the infrastructure to ramp up production.
What we need to do is build a Doomsday device and then not worry about China’s new navy.
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Unfortunately, every time this China/Russia comparison comes up, the usual jingoistic "their stuff is crap, we will own them" often surfaces. Often this seems to come from those on, or recently on, active duty. They are not privy to current capability intel I suspect, being well down in the chain of command. They should know what they get to hear is filtered, whether they like it or not.
Being outside of the structure gains new perspective of what intel really thinks of the threat, without the pep talks in the wardroom. Laugh at them at your peril.
For instance, the development of the F-15 in response to the Soviet 'superfighter,' the MiG-25. The Foxbat was believed to be a superfighter that would outperform all current American fighters, leading to the creation of the Eagle ... only to discover that the Foxbat was no superfighter but rather a high speed interceptor meant to kill an American supersonic bomber that never got developed. Was the F-15 an over-achievement to the threat, particularly when the threat was seen to have been (significantly) mis-read and misunderstood? Well, yes. But then, the F-15 had been built to superlative standards, which is why, even today, the Eagle is still a very serious contender to even very modern 4.5 generation aircraft (and while there are 4.5G aircraft like the Eurofighter, Rafale and the newest iterations of the Flanker, the updated Eagle is still a serious and equal match decades after its initial induction. That says a lot about the designers of the F-15, as well as those who ensured it remained relevant and updated).
On the other side of that scale, it is possible to simply pooh-pooh all the designs that are coming out from other nations, and say we possess a 'natural' superiority to anything out there (without realizing that is because of the effort, hardwork, money and dedication put into being number one, and not because of some magical pixie dust that makes it so). Which is why some comments I see from FReepers (e.g. F-16s and A-10s are enough) are quite worrying. The US is number 1 because it has taken cogent steps to be number 1. Stop doing that, and in a couple of decades things may be quite different.
Anyways, it is much better to 'over react' and have a solution like the F-15 (or, more recently, the F-22) facing off against threats that are not near F-15 level; rather underestimating a threat that turns out real.
The seat didn't work, either. :(