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Mapleleaf Inactive Member10 Jun 2011 11:42 p.m. PST

Here is an article from the UK based

providing available information.


China has already purchased the air component
SU33 Fighters

The Chinese Dream

Given all of this my own feeling is that China will not be building a "Nimitz" class carrier for the foreseeable future. There is a steep learning curve required to provide both the nuclear propulsion system and the catapult launch systems for such a project. The Soviet Union after decades of research as only getting close by 1991 This would take a strong commitment of both resources and energy by China with the strong possibility that they could be unsuccessful. China would not want to be seen as failing at anything. This is why the present project has been so secret.

The present "Varyag " and its expected Chinese built sisters will be suitable for what China wants to do in the western Pacific and China seas area. Quantity may be the key.

I would highly recommend Sinodefence for those interested in the Chinese military and its co web site for Modern defence issues and reference

Rod Langway Inactive Member11 Jun 2011 9:55 a.m. PST

Agree, these carriers are mainly to assist in maintaining sea control up to the "second island chain" in Chinese naval strategy. That strategy consists of attempting to counter US naval intervention in the far western Pacific, and to assist with Chinese operations against Taiwan, Spratly and Paracel Islands or elsewhere. For this a half-dozen small carriers is ideal for this strategy, keeping them withing support range of land-based fighter and bomber cover (H-6 with ASUW capability).

They are, as you say, still a long way off, but they are slowly getting there.

Another good site is China Defense Blog:

Current article there discusses the JL-9H carrier trainer that has began trials recently.

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member13 Jun 2011 6:59 a.m. PST

Heard they're renaming her(the ex-"Varyag") the "Shi Lang".

Grizzlymc Inactive Member24 Jul 2011 7:45 p.m. PST

Took the USA 30 years to get from Midway to Nimitz, I would guess that the Chinese can do it in half the time.

Lion in the Stars26 Jul 2011 9:38 a.m. PST

Not to be too sarcastic, but there's not really a lot of difference between the Midway-class and the Nimitz-class. Sure, the Nimitz is bigger (by 150ish feet) and was built with an angled deck, but both are still steam powered with steam catapults.

The US has been running carriers for almost 100 years now. Even if the Chinese get to the US's current level in half the time, that's at least 40 years before the Chinese have something comparable to the Nimitz or CVN77. Even if they started construction *right now*, it would be 10-12 years before their first home-built carrier hit the water.

kyoteblue Inactive Member26 Jul 2011 8:25 p.m. PST


Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member29 Jul 2011 10:31 a.m. PST

Even if the Chinese get to the US's current level in half the time, that's at least 40 years before the Chinese have something comparable to the Nimitz or CVN77.

You are forgetting that it took that long for the US Navy and the RN to get as far as they did because it was all new and they had to experiment along the way, absorb lessons and think up new ideas.

The Chinese are fortunate in that most of that is available in easily obtained publications and they can start from much further along the learning curve. I'd give them ten years to produce a good home design and less than 20 to be really good at it.

Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member29 Jul 2011 10:32 a.m. PST

The Chinese will never be able to equal the USS Richard M. Nixon!!!

They will counter the Tricky Dicky, with an Inscrutable Mao.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member29 Jul 2011 10:38 a.m. PST

Sadly, Mal is right. They will wind up emulating the USN and naming their carriers after political hacks.

The Japanese and the RN have much better carrier names, although I would prefer Implacable and Indomitable to Queen E and Prince C

Bertie01 Aug 2011 6:35 a.m. PST

According to today's South China Morning Post she is unlikely to be called Shi Lang after the Admiral who retook Taiwan for the Qing as too provactive. More likely she will be called after a province or city. Anyway,watch this space…

Interestingly she retains the housing for the "Sky Watch" phased array radar, but you have to wonder what is behind it. Perhaps the 30N6E Tombstone radar on the Lanzhou type 052C, but those phased arrays seem much smaller, and are at least nine years old.

The "Cake Stand" TACAN has been removed.


Lion in the Stars01 Aug 2011 11:32 a.m. PST

The Japanese […] have much better carrier names,
Naming a carrier for a province is better than a political hack?

Grizzlymc Inactive Member01 Aug 2011 3:06 p.m. PST

Weren't zuikaku and shokaku happy crane and lucky crane or something similar?

I still think that the RN has the best names of the century mainly apparently due to a cigar chewing fat chap.

Bertie03 Aug 2011 6:38 a.m. PST

Well Grizzly,
Most of the good names were hundreds of years old.
And Churchill did famously once wanted to name a dreadnought "HMS Oliver Cromwell" but the residents of Buckingham Palace got snitty about it.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member03 Aug 2011 8:00 a.m. PST

Yes, not a tactful proposal. He did his family proud – Marlbrough, Ramilles.

But Revenge, Resoultion, Implacable, Indomitable, Illustrius, Victorious, Indefatigable, Conqueror, Thunderer, Superb, Colossus, Formidable, Audacious, Valiant, Warspite.

These are names to wear on a cap ribbon!

HMS Pansy on the other hand, however worthy a ship, was not.

Mako11 Inactive Member03 Aug 2011 4:47 p.m. PST

There is no truth to the latest rumor that the carrier was lost during trials, since they forgot to replace the drain plugs before setting to sea…..

Most likely.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member04 Aug 2011 6:19 a.m. PST

Not surprising, the kit instructions were in Russia – you know these awful exploded views which look nothing like what is on the sprues.

Mal Wright Fezian Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 2:48 a.m. PST

you know these awful exploded views which look nothing like what is on the sprues.

And the numbers. You can never read the numbers on the sprue or they seem to be indicating some other section.

Still…everything seems to have been glued on in the right places. The Chinese have probably figured it out….. They have a long history of dealing with ex-Russian ships.

I wonder when they will start offering to buy the US fleet?

It could be going at a bargain price if the financial crisis continues.

Australia just got a tremendous deal out of the RN for an amphibious dock ship.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 6:56 a.m. PST

HMS Pansy, along with many other Flower-class corvettes, is still remembered with awe in Pembroke Dock, regarding the fighting spirit of its crew… They had to be tough when going on shore for a pint while wearing that name on their caps… :o)

Mako11 Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 11:04 a.m. PST

"I wonder when they will start offering to buy the US fleet"?

And our leadership just might be dense enough to offer some to them, but I hope sanity will prevail.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 11:27 a.m. PST

Never imagine that I underrate the Flower class corvettes, or the men who took them to war. It is a sad reflection on the way the Brits treat their heroes that they were obliged to go into a pub wearing names like Pansy, Blubell, etc on their caps.

If I had been a crew member and I had found the desk wallah who decided to name the class after flowers, I would have kicked him to death in a back alley. Its not like the RN was short of decent names to call ships.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 11:30 a.m. PST

Mal, what an excellent idea – sell of bits of the US fleet for US debt, discounted of course, keep a wifi channel open for activation for future use, cripple the Chinese economy with funding their bloated fleet, apologise to the Taiwanese, but hey you know the bit about long term interests.

Maybe even get the Chinese to buy into the F35 programme.

Mako11 Inactive Member06 Aug 2011 9:00 p.m. PST

Good idea, and that second engine for the F-35 too, since it is a real winner.

We also have a nice, mothballed fleet of rusting hulks that we are willing to sell for top dollar, since they are rare, collectible pieces of maritime history, bathed in the pristine waters of sunny California.

Of course, there will be a hefty recycling and environmental storage and cleanup fee to add on top of the 300% price tag for them. Say another 50%, in round numbers.

What? No of course we aren't trying to gouge you on the pricing, but the value of our dollar has fallen considerably in the last few years, due to unfair trade imbalances, a sluggish economy, and other adverse economic head winds.

Bertie11 Aug 2011 7:18 a.m. PST

Well she has sailed on builder's trials but still no word on a name.
The speculation in the South China Morning Post is that she will be given a geographic name if her role is to be operational or a human name if she is to be a training vessel.
The present favourites are "Huaquing" after a scenic spot near Xian, (rather like naming a ship "HMS Windermere" or "USS Yosemite,) or "SA Zhengbing" after a Sino-Japanese War hero who lived long enough to serve in the PLAN too.


Lion in the Stars11 Aug 2011 7:33 a.m. PST

I actually hope for SA Zhengbing. I don't particularly like the equivalent of 'USS Yosemite' for a carrier. SA Red Cliff would be cool, but Red Cliff was a horrible loss for the naval forces.

Bertie11 Aug 2011 9:25 a.m. PST

Well the USN used to have a destroyer tender called "Yosemite", so it can't be a bad name for a ship, and it is not as if the PLAN has a tradition of using specific types of names for specific ships, like the Americans using states for battleships of old or boomers today, and statesmen for carriers; or the Japanese using flying beasts for carriers, provinces for battleships and mountains for battlecruisers.
So far the largest PLAN combat ships, destroyers, have generally been named after cities. If you wanted a more macho approach like the Americans or Japanese then provinces would be the next step up to signify a capital ship. Since we have 34 provinces, municipalities and semi-autonomous regions there is plenty of scope for growth.

Bertie29 Nov 2011 9:26 p.m. PST

According to the South China Morning Post she sailed on her second builders trials at 1000hs yesterday.
Still nothing on a name.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 12:48 p.m. PST


If the you think the Flower class names were bad, pity the poor old crews of Insect class gunboats – particularly HMS Cockchafer…

Back to the subject…

The Russians have apparently refused to sell the Chinese catapult and arrestor gear.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 2:46 p.m. PST

Yes, hard call, but
I would probably prefer to walk into a pub with Pansy on my cap than Cockchafer!

Sooooo – where could the Chinese line up a fleet aircraft which doesnt need cats and wires – hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I see a debt for F35 deal here.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 2:50 p.m. PST

A shame we flogged the Harriers to the USMC. We could have made a fast buck! :o)

desert war Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 3:32 p.m. PST

I see a debt for F35 deal here.

It would be more likely that china would buy one f-35 then copy it for about 1/4 the cost per unit.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member30 Nov 2011 5:44 p.m. PST

Better yet – no more development bcosts ad we all use te one supplier. I bought my Fridge, TV and PCs that way

EJNashIII03 Dec 2011 3:31 p.m. PST

"It would be more likely that china would buy one f-35 then copy it for about 1/4 the cost per unit."

Cheaper yet to steal it like that did to the Russian stealth plane.

Lion in the Stars04 Dec 2011 6:08 a.m. PST

I'm not sure that a copied F35 will be a lot cheaper per-unit (if you ignore the development costs). Depends on how much labor costs go into it versus component costs.

Besides, the F35B is the version that's having all the trouble!

Bertie15 Dec 2011 4:18 a.m. PST

Great pic for those of us who need to paint their Shapeways model:


Bertie23 Sep 2012 7:13 a.m. PST

According to Radio Television Hong Kong she was officially handed over to the PLAN today.


She has had the pennant number 16 painted on her hull for some weeks. This either indicates that she will be classified as a training ship, as the Chinese have previously stated, or that they are using new pennant numbers. All operational ships have three digit numbers.

Still no word on a name, Hong Kong local papers have speculated that she will be named for a province, with Hebei being the favourite.

Although the media is bound to tie in her handover to the on-going dispute with Japan over the Daiyou/Shenkaku Islands it seems to me this is just a coincidence. For months before the dispute flared up again HK observers have expected her to become operational and be named this autumn, and given the Mainland's penchent for rolling significant events together on auspiscious days the smart money is that her formal commissioning and naming will take place on National Day, Oct 1st.

Watch this space…

Artraccoon Inactive Member23 Sep 2012 3:51 p.m. PST

The Japanese need to just quit with the whole DDH programe and just get to building CVs.

Lion in the Stars23 Sep 2012 5:44 p.m. PST

Not until they amend Article 9 to allow the Self Defense Forces to shoot to be able to protect Japanese Citizens abroad. As it stands now, the JSDF is permitted to be about as effective as those unarmed security guards at the American Embassy in Benghazi!

Artraccoon Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 8:16 a.m. PST

The Japanese Government view is that they cannot possess "offensive aircraft carriers". Defensive aircraft carriers are fine…remember these were the people that reassured the Western Naval powers before WW2 that they weren't building 40k displacement battleships. They are masters of "hair splitting", and the defense establishment more so.

Side note:
JMSDF units are currently operating escort and anti-piracy missions off of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

Lion in the Stars24 Sep 2012 12:30 p.m. PST

And will be brought up on charges if they so much as load a round.

When the national news is posting articles asking if a joint live-fire exercise is a violation of the Constitution, there are an awful lot of Japanese civilians that don't understand the need for the Self-Defense Forces.

Bertie25 Sep 2012 4:43 a.m. PST

She has been named "Liaoning" after her home province:



Mako11 Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 8:05 a.m. PST

Apparently, the carrier has sortied, on its first operational mission, if the reports are correct.

Neroon Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 9:29 a.m. PST

Considering that it has no aircraft embarked, and that the PLN has not even managed a single trap/launch sequence yet, I wonder what kind of "operational" mission it could possibly be on. A giant floating bunny ranch perhaps?

Lion in the Stars25 Sep 2012 9:39 a.m. PST

Operational mission: Get the crew up to competence before you start clowning around with flight ops!

Neroon Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 1:49 p.m. PST

Well that's kind of the point isn't it. Let's see if they can keep it at sea for two weeks without having to return to port for repairs of some sort. So far the crew hasn't been out for more than a few days at a time. At that rate it will take months before they even attempt to embark the air wing. Then we'll get to see if the flyboys can hit a moving target without smearing themselves all over the deck. Until then it's just a really ugly cruise ship.

Bertie25 Sep 2012 9:59 p.m. PST

I'm not sure what "reports" you have seen but she was still alongside at Dalien yesterday with the Chinese President and Premier attending the commisioning ceremony.

Interestingly today's South China Morning Post cites a Senior Captain Li Jie of the PLAN Academy as noting that carrier will not be assigned to a fleet but directly managed by Naval HQ, this is interpreted as a way of not connecting the carrier to the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) or the East China Sea (Daiyutai/Shenkaku) disputes. "…Li stressed it would take several years for the Liaoning to be turned into the flagship of a carrier battle group."


Mako11 Inactive Member04 Oct 2012 6:11 p.m. PST

Hmmm, depends upon the news outlet I guess, since I think the report I saw was released from a Chinese news outlet, or PLA member, with much fanfare.

Presumably, that was aimed to try to buoy the support of the Chinese citizens, or to try to intimidate the Japanese over the Senkakus.

Not the first time they've put out false intel, I imagine.

Then again, perhaps it did sortie (thought I saw images of that), and had to quickly return to port for one reason, or another.

DavidinGlenreagh CoffsGrafton Inactive Member25 Nov 2012 8:24 p.m. PST

Beijing: The Chinese military has successfully landed a fighter jet on the Liaoning, China's first seaworthy aircraft carrier, according to a report on Sunday by Xinhua, the state news agency.

China Central Television showed video of the jet, the J-15, landing on the deck of the carrier, which was put into service in September after years of construction work. The video also showed the jet, which is painted yellow with the number 552 written in red beneath the cockpit, successfully taking off from the carrier.

Read more: link



Lion in the Stars26 Nov 2012 11:34 a.m. PST

Well, there's one almost-carrier-qualified pilot.

Wonder how good the LSO/'paddles' are?

Peter Constantine Inactive Member26 Nov 2012 2:25 p.m. PST

pity the poor old crews of Insect class gunboats particularly HMS Cockchafer…

Sounds like they'd get on well with the lads from HMS Gay Bruiser


Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member01 Dec 2012 2:16 p.m. PST

But Revenge, Resoultion, Implacable, Indomitable, Illustrius, Victorious, Indefatigable, Conqueror, Thunderer, Superb, Colossus, Formidable, Audacious, Valiant, Warspite.

These are names to wear on a cap ribbon!

You forgot my favorite: HMS Furious.

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