Home » Posts tagged 'Aircraft carrier'
Tag Archives: Aircraft carrier
For months, rumors have been floating that China is building a second aircrafit carrier. It is not a fact. Reuters cites Chinese and Hong Kong media reports that China is building its second aircraft carrier, which is expected to take six years. While it is constructing this one, China plans to build at least two more, as it aims to have four aircraft carriers in the near future.
As a reminder, the country’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning – a Soviet-era ship bought from Ukraine in 1998 and re-fitted in a Chinese shipyard – has long been a symbol of China’s naval build-up, and recently saw its maiden voyage in the South China Sea when in a clear demonstration of naval force, it crossed through the Taiwan straits. The Liaoning successfully executed more than 100 tests, including those of its combat systems, during drills in the disputed South China Sea last month. The exercises off the coast of Hainan Island marked not only the first time China had sent a carrier into the South China Sea but the first time it had maneuvered with the kind of strike group of escort ships U.S. carriers deploy, according to regional military officers and analysts.
However, since the Lioning was a retrofit and not China’s own creation, the country’s navy has been scrambling to get beyond the ridicule it can only “reverse engineer” its crowning ship. Hence the push for a second one.
After two decades of double-digit increases in the military budget, China’s admirals plan to develop a full blue-water navy capable of defending growing economic interests as well as disputed territory in the South and East China Seas.
Successfully operating the 60,000-tonne Liaoning is the first step in what state media and some military experts believe will be the deployment of locally built carriers by 2020.
In comments carried on Chinese news websites, Wang Min, the Communist Party boss of the northeastern province of Liaoning, where the first carrier is based, said the second carrier was being built in the port city of Dalian.
Its construction would take about six years, and in future China would have a fleet of at least four carriers, Wang told members of the province’s legislature on Saturday, the reports added.
Dalian is the port where the existing carrier was re-fitted for use by the Chinese navy.
Of course, the parallels to the cold war build up of nuclear weapons between the US and the USSR are quite obvious making one wonder if the same strategy is in play once more, especially when one considers that the US itself is also building three Ford-class supercarriers, the CVN-78, 79 and 80.
Finally, as we showed before, here are leaked photos of the second aircraft carrier in construction from China Defense.
Finally for those curious about more than just China’s nascent aircraft carrier fleet, here are some additional maps from the most recent Congressional report on Chinese military developments:
China Confirms Near-Collision Of US, Chinese Warships, Accuses US Of “Deliberate Provocation” | Zero Hedge
Last Friday we reported of a freak near-incident in the South China Sea, when a US warship nearly collided with a Chinese navy vessel, operating in close proximity to China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, although details were scarce. Today, with the usual several day delay, China reported what was already widely know, admitting that “an incident between a Chinese naval vessel and a U.S. warship in the South China Sea, after Washington said a U.S. guided missile cruiser had avoided a collision with a Chinese warship maneuvering nearby.” According to experts this was the most significant U.S.-China maritime incident in the disputed South China Sea since 2009. Which naturally warranted the question: whose actions nearly provoked a potential military escalation between the world’s two superpowers. Not surprisingly, China’s version is that it was all the US’ fault.
China’s Defense Ministry said the Chinese naval vessel was conducting “normal patrols” when the two vessels “met”.
“During the encounter, the Chinese naval vessel properly handled it in accordance with strict protocol,” the ministry said on its website (www.mod.gov.cn).
“The two Defense departments were kept informed of the relevant situation through normal working channels and carried out effective communication.”
But China’s official news agency Xinhua, in an English language commentary, accused the U.S. ship of deliberately provocative behavior.
“On December 5, U.S. missile cruiser Cowpens, despite warnings from China’s aircraft carrier task group, broke into the Chinese navy’s drilling waters in the South China Sea, and almost collided with a Chinese warship nearby,” it said.
“Even before the navy training, Chinese maritime authorities have posted a navigation notice on their website, and the U.S. warship, which should have had knowledge of what the Chinese were doing there, intentionally carried on with its surveillance of China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and triggered the confrontation.”
On the other hand, and just as logically, the US said it was China’s fault as the US ship had to take evasive action:
Washington said last week its ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
Then again, one wonders just what a lone US warship was doing in such close proximity to China’s aircraft carrier on its maiden voyage: “The Liaoning aircraft carrier, which has yet to be fully armed and is being used as a training vessel, was flanked by escort ships, including two destroyers and two frigates, during its first deployment into the South China Sea.”
The United States had raised the incident at a “high level” with China, according to a State Department official quoted by the U.S. military’s Stars and Stripes newspaper.
China deployed the Liaoning to the South China Sea just days after announcing its air Defense zone, which covers air space over a group of tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are administered by Japan but claimed by Beijing as well.
Leaving aside the question of what the US’ response would be if a Chinese warship was circling just outside of the San Diego Naval Base, even if in “international waters”, assuming China’s account of the story is correct, and if indeed the US chain of command did tongue-in-cheekly suggest the creation of a modest incident (with or without escalation), then one should pay very careful attention to the development in the South China Sea, which the US apparently has picked as the next hotzone of geopolitical risk flaring.
- First Video of the Navy’s X-47B Drone Landing on an Aircraft Carrier (gizmodo.com)
- Drone lands on U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (upi.com)
- Drone Lands Itself at Sea, New Era in Warfare – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- US navy to attempt drone landing on aircraft carrier for first time (guardian.co.uk)
- Today’s Drone Test Changes Everything About Unmanned Aerial Warfare (businessinsider.com)
- Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch (news.usni.org)
- Navy launches 1st carrier drone (utsandiego.com)
- Navy to launch X-47B drone from carrier for first time (wtkr.com)
- Navy to launch unmanned aircraft from carrier (stripes.com)
- Navy to launch first unmanned aircraft from carrier (foxnews.com)