Report: China largely restores aircraft carrier

Jan 19, 2011

(AP) -- China has taken a major step toward commissioning its first aircraft carrier by largely completing the restoration of a derelict ship purchased from Ukraine, a news report said Wednesday.

The restoration includes all living and working compartments, engines, navigation systems and power-generating equipment, Hong Kong-based Kanwa Asian Defense magazine said. Additional work is still needed on the elevator and flight deck, it said, but it was unclear when the restoration would be completed.

The U.S. Department of Defense has said it expects the ship to be relaunched at any time as a platform for training pilots - a major turning point in the military's wide-ranging modernization drive.

China bought the mothballed carrier in 1998 and towed the engine and rudderless ship to the northeastern port of Dalian for a complete refitting. Work on its internal systems took about four years, Kanwa said.

The complete was intended to make the ship fully functional and to train technicians who will build China's future homemade carriers, according to the report.

"This has been a gigantic project and is virtually as complicated as building a brand-new aircraft carrier," Kanwa quoted an unidentified source with the Dalian region's military industry as saying.

The Varyag is a ski jump-style carrier with a displacement of about 55,000 tons, much smaller than the Japan-based U.S. carrier George Washington, which has a displacement of more than 100,000 tons.

China's secretive military has not commented on the aircraft carrier beyond vague statements that China will likely have such ships in future.

China is believed to be purchasing Russian Su-33 carrier-based fighters as well as adapting its own J-11 jets for carrier landings and takeoffs.

There were no other immediate reports to confirm Kanwa's account.

Kanwa is widely considered a highly reliable source. Last week, it reported extensively on the inaugural of a prototype radar-evading Chinese stealth fighter.

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User comments : 9

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rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 19, 2011
If this is as complicated as building a new carrier, why didn't the Chinese build a new one?
gwrede
4 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
If this is as complicated as building a new carrier, why didn't the Chinese build a new one?
While it is about as complicated, buliding one from scratch would take a lot of iron and a lot of welding. And infrastructure, like a free shipyard of the right size, capacity at iron suppliers, etc.

Because they are in a hurry, it's a lot more efficient to buy a boat and then concentrate on the modern stuff.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (11) Jan 19, 2011
Good thing. The west will need all the help it can get to fight the future Islamist empire on all it's fronts.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (9) Jan 19, 2011
Good thing. The west will need all the help it can get to fight the future Islamist empire on all it's fronts.
http
://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,533525,00.html

-Just like Comintern
Modernmystic
not rated yet Jan 19, 2011
10/1...
NotAsleep
3 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
If this is as complicated as building a new carrier, why didn't the Chinese build a new one?

Because there isn't enough expertise in China to build a modern aircraft carrier. In purchasing this one, they'll have a good trainer for their engineers to work with hands-on. Building a 55,000 ton ship that launches and retrieves airplanes isn't as easy as it sounds... Future Chinese aircraft carriers will be superior to the one they just bought with (theoretically) minimal cost.
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 20, 2011
If this is as complicated as building a new carrier, why didn't the Chinese build a new one?

Because there isn't enough expertise in China to build a modern aircraft carrier. In purchasing this one, they'll have a good trainer for their engineers to work with hands-on. Building a 55,000 ton ship that launches and retrieves airplanes isn't as easy as it sounds... Future Chinese aircraft carriers will be superior to the one they just bought with (theoretically) minimal cost.


I know! I know! I know! I know!
Wherein do you think the true significance lies?

One: It is NOT as difficult as building from scratch.
Two:
Three:
Four:
etc:
NotAsleep
not rated yet Jan 20, 2011
The true significance lies not in "knowledge" but in "experience". The Chinese probably have the knowledge to build a fearsome carrier but the lack of experience in manufacturing processes, system-level expertise, system maintenance and logistical support would push the timeframe to field it out decades and the cost into an astronomical amount.

It's not so much "how to get from A to B", it's "the best way to get from A to B". I look forward to seeing how they field their new stealth jet without the experience of maintaining previous stealth jets... they're in for a surprise
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 20, 2011
Of course you must wonder if the heirs to 'Mao the Monster' ever watched 'The Hunt for Red October'. Exactly who are these benevolent Chinese oligarchs going to trust commanding a warship that could hold the Chinese government hostage?

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