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Thread: China's Growing Carrier Fleet

  1. #21
    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Wasn't that the Global 2015 report from the CIA or something?

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished


  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Phil Fiord For This Useful Post:

    vector7 (April 11th, 2013)

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    The above is the Global Trends 2015 report from the CIA first posted in 2000. That explains the wayback memory of the date.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Wow... I have not read the above in some time and as it is now 2011, it is eerily close to what is happening. Even a reference to the US economy in 2015 on page 10.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    That is very interesting, thanks for sharing this!

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Vector7, It was pretty big news back then in 2001 or so. The past report (Global Trends 2010) had been out for a while and this new one updated that.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Fiord View Post
    Well it's not like the Government didn't see it coming, even well before 911...

    APPROVED FOR RELEASE
    DATE: FEB 2001

    Key Uncertainties: Technology Will Alter Outcomes

    Examining the interaction of these drivers and trends points to some major uncertainties that will only be clarified as events occur and out leaders make policy decisions that cannot be foreseen today. We cite eight transformational and regional issues for which the future, according to our trends analysis, is too tough to call with any confidence or precision.

    • These are the high-stakes, national security issues that will require continuous analysis and, in the view of our conferees, periodic policy review in the years ahead.

    Science and Technology

    Advances in science and technology over the next fifteen years will generate dramatic breakthroughs in agriculture and health and in leap-frog applications, such as universal wireless cellular communications, which already are networking developing countries that never had land-lines. What we do not know about the S&T revolution, however, is staggering. We do not know to what extent technology will benefit, or further disadvantage, disaffected national populations, alienated ethnic and religious groups, or the less developed countries. We do not know to what degree lateral or 'side-wise' technology will increase the threat from low technology countries and groups. One certainty is that progression will not be linear.

    Increasing reliance on computer networks is making critical US infrastructures more attractive as targets. Computer network operations today offer new options for attacking the United States within its traditional continental sanctuary potentially anonymously and with selective effects. Nevertheless, we do not know how quickly or effectively such adversaries as terrorists or disaffected states will develop the tradecraft to use cyber warfare tools and technology, or, in fact, whether cyber warfare will ever evolve into a decisive combat arm. Rapid advances and diffusion of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the materials sciences, moreover, will add to the capabilities of our adversaries to engage in biological warfare or bio-terrorism.


    Asymmetric Warfare

    As noted earlier, most adversaries will recognize the information advantage and military superiority of the United States in 2015. Rather than acquiesce to any potential US military domination, they will try to circumvent or minimize US strengths and exploit perceived weaknesses. IT-driven globalization will significantly increase interaction among terrorists, narcotraffickers, proliferators, and organized criminals, who in a networked world will have greater access to information, to technology, to finance, to sophisticated deception-and-denial techniques and to each other. Such asymmetric approaches, whether undertaken by states or nonstate actors will become the dominant characteristic of most threats to the US homeland.

    They will be a defining challenge for US strategy, operations, and force development, and they will require that strategy to maintain focus on traditional, low-technology threats as well as the capacity of potential adversaries to harness elements of proliferating advanced technologies. At the same time, we do not know the extent to which adversaries, state and nonstate, might be influenced or deterred by other geopolitical, economic, technological, or diplomatic factors in 2015.

    The Global Economy

    Although the outlook for the global economy appears strong, achieving broad and sustained high levels of global growth will be contingent on avoiding several potential brakes to growth. These include:

    • The US economy suffers a sustained downturn.
    • Europe and Japan fail to manage their demographic challenges.
    • China and/or India fail to sustain high growth.
    • Emerging market countries fail to reform their financial institutions.
    • Global energy supplies a major disruption.

    REGIONAL CONCERNS

    The Middle East

    Global trends from demography and natural resources to globalization and governance appear generally negative for the Middle East. Most regimes are change-resistant. Many are buoyed by continuing energy revenues and will not be inclined to make the necessary reforms, including in basic education, to change this unfavorable picture.

    • Linear trend analysis shows little positive change in the region, raising the prospects for increased demographic pressures, social unrest, religious and ideological extremism, and terrorism directed both at the regimes and at their Western supporters.


    • Nonlinear developments,such as the sudden rise of a Web-connected opposition, a sharp and sustained economic downturn, or, conversely, the emergence of enlightened leaders committed to good governance,might change outcomes in individual countries. Political changes in Iran in the late 1990s are an example of such nonlinear development.

    China

    Estimates of developments in China over the next 15 years are fraught with unknowables. Working against China's aspirations to sustain economic growth while preserving its political system is an array of political, social, and economic pressures that will increasingly challenge the regime's legitimacy, and perhaps its survival.

    • The sweeping structural changes required by China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the broader demands of economic globalization and the information revolution will generate significantly new levels and types of social and economic disruption that will only add to an already wide range of domestic and international problems.

    Nevertheless, China need not be overwhelmed by these problems. China has proven politically resilient, economically dynamic, and increasingly assertive in positioning itself for a leadership role in East Asia. Its long-term military program in particular suggests that Beijing wants to have the capability to achieve its territorial objectives, outmatch its neighbors, and constrain US power in the region.

    • We do not rule out, however, the introduction of enough political reform by 2015 to allow China to adapt to domestic pressure for change and to continue to grow economically.

    Two conditions, in the view of many specialists, would lead to a major security challenge for the United States and its allies in the region: a weak, disintegrating China, or an assertive China willing to use its growing economic wealth and military capabilities to pursue its strategic advantage in the region. These opposite extremes bound a more commonly held view among experts that China will continue to see peace as essential to its economic growth and internal stability.

    Russia

    Between now and 2015, Moscow will be challenged even more than today to adjust its expectations for world leadership to its dramatically reduced resources. Whether the country can make the transition in adjusting ends to means remains an open and critical question, according to most experts, as does the question of the character and quality of Russian governance and economic policies. The most likely outcome is a Russia that remains internally weak and institutionally linked to the international system primarily through its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. In this view, whether Russia can adjust to this diminished status in a manner that preserves rather than upsets regional stability is also uncertain. The stakes for both Europe and the United States will be high, although neither will have the ability to determine the outcome for Russia in 2015. Russian governance will be the critical factor.

    Japan

    The first uncertainty about Japan is whether it will carry out the structural reforms needed to resume robust economic growth and to slow its decline relative to the rest of East Asia, particularly China. The second uncertainty is whether Japan will alter its security policy to allow Tokyo to maintain a stronger military and more reciprocal relationship with the United States. Experts agree that Japanese governance will be the key driver in determining the outcomes.

    ----------------------------------------------------


    "Global Trends 2015" Terrorism-Related Excerpts

    Terrorism-related Excerpts from Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts


    The following items are terrorism-related items from the National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts" report (December 2000).

    Transnational Terrorism (page 50)

    States with poor governance; ethnic, cultural, or religious tensions; weak economies; and porous borders will be prime breeding grounds for terrorism. In such states, domestic groups will challenge the entrenched government, and transnational networks seeking safehavens.

    At the same time, the trend away from state-supported political terrorism and toward more diverse, free-wheeling, transnational networks—enabled by information technology—will continue. Some of the states that actively sponsor terrorism or terrorist groups today may decrease or even cease their support by 2015 as a result of regime changes, rapprochement with neighbors, or the conclusion that terrorism has become counterproductive. But weak states also could drift toward cooperation with terrorists, creating de facto new state supporters.

    Between now and 2015 terrorist tactics will become increasingly sophisticated and designed to achieve mass casualties.

    We expect the trend toward greater lethality in terrorist attacks to continue.

    Reacting to US Military Superiority (page 56)
    Experts agree that the United States, with its decisive edge in both information and weapons technology, will remain the dominant military power during the next 15 years. Further bolstering the strong position of the United States are its unparalleled economic power, its university system, and its investment in research and development—half of the total spent annually by the advanced industrial world. Many potential adversaries, as reflected in doctrinal writings and statements, see US military concepts, together with technology, as giving the United States the ability to expand its lead in conventional warfighting capabilities.

    This perception among present and potential adversaries will continue to generate the pursuit of asymmetric capabilities against US forces and interests abroad as well as the territory of the United States. US opponents—state and such nonstate actors as drug lords, terrorists, and foreign insurgents—will not want to engage the US military on its terms. They will choose instead political and military strategies designed to dissuade the United States from using force, or, if the United States does use force, to exhaust American will, circumvent or minimize US strengths, and exploit perceived US weaknesses. Asymmetric challenges can arise across the spectrum of conflict that will confront US forces in a theater of operations or on US soil.

    Threats to Critical Infrastructure.

    Some potential adversaries will seek ways to threaten the US homeland. The US national infrastructure—communications, transportation, financial transactions, energy networks—is vulnerable to disruption by physical and electronic attack because of its interdependent nature and by cyber attacks because of their dependence on computer networks. Foreign governments and groups will seek to exploit such vulnerabilities using conventional munitions, information operations, and even WMD.

    Terrorism.

    Much of the terrorism noted earlier will be directed at the United States and its overseas interests. Most anti-US terrorism will be based on perceived ethnic, religious or cultural grievances. Terrorist groups will continue to find ways to attack US military and diplomatic facilities abroad. Such attacks are likely to expand increasingly to include US companies and American citizens. Middle East and Southwest Asian-based terrorists are the most likely to threaten the United States.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    China’s Jump Jet Mystery
    Aprile 25, 2011

    The Chinese aviation industry has begun testing a short-takeoff, vertical-landing naval fighter optimized for small aircraft carriers, according to English-language military trade publications. The reports last week cited rumours circulated by Chinese aviation blogs. ‘It is difficult to substantiate Internet chatter,’ US-based Defense News cautioned.

    But ‘given the PLA's naval power projection ambitions, it is probable there is (a) VSTOL or STOVL (short-takeoff and vertical-landing) fighter programme,’ Richard Fisher, from the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington, D.C., told the publication.

    The reports raise as many questions as they answer. If they're true, it's unclear why the Chinese navy would even want a vertical-landing fighter, considering the limitations associated with such designs—and also considering China's many alternatives to a so-called ‘jump jet.’

    Again if true, it's possible that Beijing is developing a jump jet in response to Taiwanese interest in an American vertical-landing fighter currently in testing. It's also possible, but not likely, that a Chinese jump jet hints at as-yet-undisclosed naval shipbuilding plans.

    Defense Newsechoed Chinese blog comments that the new fighter, apparently designated ‘J-18,’ is ‘similar to the Russian Su-33 carrier-based fighter.’ That seems unlikely, as the Su-33 weighs 66,000 pounds fully loaded, three times as much as the world's only successful jump jet, the Anglo-American AV-8 Harrier.

    The Americans are also working on the F-35B, a 50,000-pound stealthy jump jet that could enter service as early as 2016, but which has encountered serious problems with weight, engine heat, parts failures and software readiness.

    The US Marine Corps is planning on buying hundreds of F-35Bs to fly from the Navy's 11 800-foot-long assault ships. In addition to performing an amphibious assault role, these vessels serve as smaller back-ups to the Navy's 11 larger super-carriers that operate conventionally-launching and -landing planes. Italy, Spain and several other navies with small carriers are also likely F-35B customers.

    Historically, jump jets such as the Harrier have been a necessary evil, justified only by the small size of assault ships and light carriers and the prohibitive costs of large fleets of full-size carriers. For its first 40 years of service starting in the 1960s, the Harrier was accident-prone and outclassed in most scenarios by conventional aircraft. Only recently have improved maintenance and training plus lightweight ‘smart’ weapons somewhat levelled the playing field.

    All the same, the only other once-operational jump jet—the long-defunct Yak-38 flown by the Soviet navy in the 1970s and ’80s—was nearly useless, owing to range and payload limitations. It’s unclear that the Chinese could do better with their own design, particularly if the 30-tonne Su-33 is the starting point.

    It seems plausible that Chinese bloggers have mistaken a short-takeoff fighter for a true jump jet. Fitted with vectored-thrust engines that are now common on many planes, the 1980s-vintage Su-33 might be able to operate from smaller carriers. The J-18 could, in reality, be a misnomer for the J-15, a recent Chinese copy of the Su-33 that appeared in a naval paintjob around the same time the J-18 rumours surfaced.

    The J-18 could also be the product of a propaganda campaign launched in response to Taiwanese interest in the F-35B, which spiked last spring when Air Force Gen. Ger Hsi-hsiung told parliament that only a jump jet flying from camouflaged highway bases would be protected against Chinese missile attacks.

    That said, Chinese bloggers accurately predicted the first flight of the new J-20 stealth fighter-bomber in December. If they're right again and the J-18 actually exists, it could represent a new niche capability for the PLAN—but one that isn’t, as yet, justified by the Chinese naval order of battle. China has nearly finished work on a refurbished Russian light carrier, renamed Shi Lang. The vessel could enter service this year or next in a limited training role, most likely operating J-15s or a modified version of the air force's J-10 fighter. Shi Lang is big enough for traditional planes and doesn’t actually require a jump jet.

    Indeed, China neither possesses—nor has publically-acknowledged plans for—an assault ship that would benefit from an operational jump jet. If the PLAN is developing both a small carrier design plus a vertical-landing jet to fly from it, the jet would seem to be far ahead of the vessel—although the vessel is likely an easier thing to build.

    Whatever the case, the J-18 rumours are at least evidence of a vigorous military aerospace industry—one that at least renders talk of a new fighter plausible, if not always true.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    China Builds A Different Kind Of Carrier Air Wing
    February 8, 2011

    China has two aircraft carriers (Shi Lang and "Carrier F") under construction, with one going to sea by next year. With the ship designs fixed, attention turns to the aircraft, both the types and their organization and operation. Current Chinese practice is to base seagoing aircraft (helicopters) at land facilities, sending them to serve on ships that are going to sea as needed. It appears that China will do the same thing, at least initially, with their carriers. This is different from American practice, where the carrier air wings are assigned permanently (except when the carriers are out of action for long periods of maintenance). Same with helicopters assigned to smaller surface ships. Chinese air wings will be more independent, and less similar in their organization.

    What aircraft are going to sea with the carriers is less certain. The main Chinese carrier fighter is a navalized version of the J-11 (an illegal clone of the Russian Su-27). China got one of the Russian navalized Su-27s (the Su-33) from Ukraine, and are stealing more technology to navalize their 30 ton J-11 as the J-11BH (formerly the J-15). These will not be ready before the Shi Lang puts to sea. Instead, it appears that navalized jet trainers will be used (the 9.8 ton JL-9, and possibly the more recent 9.5 ton JL-15).

    China already has naval helicopters for their carriers. These include the Russian Ka-28 (submarine search) and Ka-31 (radar early warning) and Mi-8 (transports). China is still having problems designing and building naval helicopters that can match or surpass Russian models. So Russian choppers will continue in service for at least another decade.

    The Shi Lang has a maximum capacity of 50 jets and 18 helicopters, but it appears that China will not be using these many on their carriers initially. The Russians never maxed out the air wing on these ships either. Moreover, the most common use of Chinese carriers in the first few years will be training and, on occasion, "showing the flag" (visiting foreign ports to, well, show off.) Both training and show-off missions, will probably involve a carrier air wing of eight jets and 9-10 helicopters (six ASW/Anti-Submarine Warfare, three AEW/radar early warning and one SAR/search and rescue.) Once the J-11BH is ready, there will be several years of training pilots and carrier deck crews to handle this larger aircraft. So it won't be until the 2020s before China is ready to send a carrier to sea with a militarily significant air wing. This will include J-11BH fighters J-10AH light bombers, as well as AEW, ASW and SAR helicopters.

    The Shi Lang has been in the shipyards for nine years now, where China has been tinkering with this half finished Russian aircraft carrier. Three years ago, the ex-Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian Varyag, was renamed the Shi Lang and given the pennant number 83. Two years ago, China decided to go forward with building a carrier fleet. That accounts for the increased progress on the Shi Lang since then. In the last two years, the Shi Lang was placed into dry dock, where engines and other heavy equipment was installed. Topside, the radar mast was completed, and now there is a Chinese radar system being installed.

    The Varyag is one of the Kuznetsov class carriers that Russia began building in the 1980s. Originally the Kuznetsovs were to be 90,000 ton, nuclear powered ships, similar to American carriers (complete with steam catapults). Instead, because of the high cost, and the complexity of modern (American style) carriers, the Russians were forced to scale back their plans, and ended up with the 65,000 ton (full load ) ships that lacked steam catapults, and used a ski jump type flight deck instead. Nuclear power was dropped, but the Kuznetsov class was still a formidable design. The 323 meter (thousand foot) long ship normally carries a dozen navalized Su-27s (called Su-33s), 14 Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters, two electronic warfare helicopters and two search and rescue helicopters. But the ship was meant to regularly carry 36 Su-33s and sixteen helicopters. The ship carries 2,500 tons of aviation fuel, allowing it to generate 500-1,000 aircraft and helicopter sorties. Crew size is 2,500 (or 3,000 with a full aircraft load.) Only two ships of this class exist; the original Kuznetsov, which is in Russian service, and the Varyag.

    The Chinese have been in touch with Russian naval construction firms, and may have purchased plans and technology for equipment installed in the Kuznetsov. Some Chinese leaders had quipped several years ago, about having a carrier by 2010 (this would have to be a refurbished Varyag), but it soon became clear that 2012 was more likely. Even that may be too soon, as the Chinese have been burned before when they tried to build new military technology in a hurry. The Chinese appear intent on getting it right the first time.

    Three years ago, China announced that its first class of carrier aviators had begun training at the Dalian Naval Academy. The naval officers are undergoing a four year course of instruction to turn them into fighter pilots capable of operating off a carrier. China already has an airfield, in the shape of a carrier deck, built at an inland facility. The Russians have warned China that it may take them a decade or more to develop the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently run an aircraft carrier. The Chinese are game, and are slogging forward.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished



    China Says Aircraft Carrier Only for Research, Training
    July 27, 2011

    China's Defense Ministry said its first aircraft carrier would be used for "research, experiments and training" and would not affect its defensive naval strategy, in an apparent attempt to ease regional concerns that the vessel could be used to enforce Chinese territorial claims.

    Senior Col. Geng Yansheng, a Defense Ministry spokesman, also confirmed for the first time that Chinese pilots were training to operate from the carrier, which is based on an empty hull bought from Ukraine, and which is due to start sea trials this summer. But he said it would take a long time to become fully operational.

    "Building an aircraft carrier is extremely complex and at present we are using a scrapped aircraft carrier platform to carry out refurbishment for the purposes of technological research, experiments and training," Col. Geng said, according to a Chinese transcript of a monthly Defense Ministry news conference published on its web site.

    Asked about media reports that the vessel would be launched on Aug. 1, China's Army Day, he said: "There is not a question of when this ship is launched, because it has been in the water all along. As for the precise timetable for the ship beginning sea trials, it will be decided according to the schedule of the refurbishment project."

    He also dismissed a question suggesting that China's sudden relative openness about the carrier was linked to recent tensions in the South China Sea, where China has conflicting territorial claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, and has warned the U.S. to stop reconnaissance operations.

    "To construct and use a carrier requires the integration of various types of weaponry, and requires synergy in every area," Col. Geng said. "This will be a long and slow process."

    A Chinese company purchased the empty hull of a carrier called the Varyag from Ukraine in 1998, on the understanding that it would be used as a floating casino, but it was later towed to the northeastern port of Dalian, where it has been undergoing refurbishment ever since.

    China's plans to reactivate the carrier for its navy have been known for years. The vessel is easily visible from parts of Dalian and photographs and video footage of the refurbishing have been published online.

    But China did not officially confirm its plans until earlier this month, when Gen. Cheng Bingde, the Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, spoke about it at a news conference after meeting Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Beijing. Gen. Chen did not, however, say how China planned to use the carrier.

    The vessel is significant as it will give China, for the first time, the theoretical ability to project air power far from its shores, as well as providing crucial experience for developing its own, larger indigenous carriers, the first of which some defense experts say is already under construction.

    It would take China several decades to match the U.S.'s current carrier fleet of 11 (), but Beijing only needs a few to enhance its ability to deny U.S. forces access to waters around China in the event of a regional conflict, or to protect its shipping lanes and other perceived national interests overseas.

    To be effective, at least two or three carriers are required, so that at least one can remain active while another undergoes repairs, and each active one requires its own carrier group including several other vessels, according to Chinese and foreign defense experts.

    For the moment, therefore, they say the Varyag—which has yet to be renamed—will likely be used mainly to test equipment and train personnel, especially pilots who must learn to take off from and land on the carrier while it is moving.

    Some also say that it could be used for limited patrols around China's territorial waters, as well as visits to foreign countries to try to enhance military relations and help them grow accustomed to China's newfound naval strength.

    Col. Geng said that a carrier could be used for offensive or defensive purposes as well as for disaster relief, and that China was pursuing its carrier program "in order to increase its ability to protect national security and world peace."

    "China's firm adherence to a defensive national defense policy will not change because of the development of advanced weapons," he said. "China's naval strategy of inshore defense also has not changed."

    Col. Geng declined to provide further details.

    But the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Cao Weidong, a researcher with the PLA Navy's Academic Research Institute, as saying that China's first carrier was a conventionally-powered medium-sized carrier equipped with indigenous Chinese engines, ship-borne aircraft, radar and other hardware.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Cuz we will sink it.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    China boosts naval power with carrier program: sources



    A vessel reported to be the Ukrainian-made aircraft carrier ''Varyag'', which China bought in the 1990s, is seen at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province April 17, 2011.
    Credit: Reuters/Stringer

    By Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Lim
    BEIJING | Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:11pm EDT

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China is building two aircraft carriers as part of a military modernization program that is causing concern among other Asian countries, sources said on Wednesday.

    President Hu Jintao has made the navy a keystone of China's defense upgrade, and the carriers will be among the most visible signs of its rising military prowess.

    China is ramping up its military spending as the United States considers cutting its defense budget, although Washington still far outspends China on security and is much more technologically advanced.

    "Two aircraft carriers are being built at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai," a source with ties to China's Communist Party leadership told Reuters, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the program.

    China's Defense Ministry has confirmed the existence of one carrier, a former Soviet vessel that was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and was once destined to become a floating casino.

    That vessel, the Shi Lang, will be used for training and research purposes, ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said, seeking to reassure other countries that China would stick to its defensive military policy.

    But he said it had a right to protect its extensive maritime territory and coast.

    "This is the sacred responsibility of China's armed forces," Geng said in a statement.

    "Building a carrier is extremely complex. We are currently refitting an old aircraft carrier, to be used for research and testing."

    "An aircraft carrier is a weapons platform; it can be used for offensive or defensive purposes. It can also be used to maintain global peace and for rescue and relief work," he added.

    Geng gave no timetable for starting sea trials but said pilots were being trained to operate from the carrier.

    Sources with ties to the Communist Party and the military said that the ship would likely be based in the southern island province of Hainan, which sits atop the trade lanes of the sensitive South China Sea.

    China has been flexing its muscles more aggressively in those waters, where a territorial dispute with Taiwan and several nearby countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, has festered for years.

    Geng said the timing "had nothing to do" with the tension there though the message will be clear to many in Asia.

    "China can now project its power to even further away from its coastline," said Alexander Huang, professor of strategic studies at Taiwan's Tamkang University.

    "That will have significant security implications to forces operating in the Western Pacific, including the U.S., Japan and Australia, so this is a watershed development."

    The carrier will add to regional concerns about China's military modernization and arms build-up. Defense spending is rising fast and Beijing continues to test new high-tech equipment, including a stealth fighter.

    "China's next moves have to be watched carefully, or there eventually could be a negative impact on maritime safety in Asia," said Yoshihiko Yamada, a professor at Japan's Tokai University.

    Xinhua news agency said it was the first time the government had confirmed it was pursuing a carrier program.

    PENTAGON DOWNPLAYS PROGRAM

    The Pentagon declined to say whether it had intelligence confirming the Reuters report but noted that China has publicly acknowledged the existence of one carrier and its intention to build more.

    Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan, however, downplayed any immediate leaps that could be expected from China's carrier program.

    U.S. officials pointed to a U.S. Navy intelligence estimate that China would still have only "very limited" aircraft carrier proficiency and capability by 2020, even if its carrier program proceeded as expected.

    The top U.S. Navy intelligence officer earlier this year told reporters he believed China wanted to start fielding multiple aircraft carriers over the next decade, with the goal of becoming a global naval power capable of projecting power around the world by mid-century.

    The official said it would take years for China's navy to learn how to integrate flight deck operations and attain the sophistication needed to use them effectively.

    Security analyst Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation in Washington said the new carriers squared with a 2011 Pentagon report but also raised many questions.

    "Will they be smallish ones like the Shi Lang, with some 30 aircraft? Or USS Midway-sized aircraft carriers, with an airgroup of around 60 aircraft? Or a Forrestal/Kitty Hawk-class with an airgroup of 80-90 aircraft?," he said, referring to China's training vessel and major American carriers.

    The old Soviet carrier's refitting has been one of China's worst-kept military secrets. Pictures of it sitting in Dalian harbor have circulated on Chinese websites for months, and it has been widely discussed in state media.

    China would be the third Asian country to have a carrier after India and Thailand, but it will take time before it can go to sea in Asian waters that have largely been the domain of the U.S. Navy since World War Two.

    "It will be a long while before China develops a fully-fledged carrier capability, it will take a long time to train the necessary crews ... it may be up to decade until China has carrier capability," said Tim Huxley, director for defense and military analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.

    Beijing's rationale for having an aircraft carrier is more than just about modernizing a navy whose most notable engagements of the past few years have been territorial skirmishes in the South China Sea with other smaller nations.

    Sending naval vessels further afield, to the waters off Somalia to fight pirates, and through the southern Japanese islands, has also partly been about ensuring trade routes are protected.

    China frets about the powerful U.S. military presence close to its shores, in particular U.S. bases in Japan and South Korea, and Washington's close but unofficial ties with Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

    "Aircraft carriers are essential for China primarily to defend its territory and territorial waters and bring a semblance of parity among the world's big powers," Wang Baokun, a defense studies professor at Beijing's Renmin University, wrote in the China Daily earlier this month.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    General: China needs at least three aircraft carriers

    by Staff Writers
    Beijing (AFP) July 30, 2011

    Major General Luo Yuan

    China needs at least three aircraft carriers to defend its interests, a general said, days after the state media broadcast footage of its first carrier in a rare public mention of the project.

    "If we consider our neighbours, India will have three aircraft carriers by 2014 and Japan will have three carriers by 2014," General Luo Yuan, a senior researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences, was quoted as saying by Beijing News.

    "So I think the number (for China) should not be less than three so we can defend our rights and our maritime interests effectively."

    His comments, published Friday, came after China sought to downplay the capability of its first aircraft carrier, saying on Wednesday the vessel would be used for training and "research".

    Beijing believes that the three Japanese carriers it referred to, built for helicopter operations, could eventually be converted into full aircraft carriers.

    China recently confirmed it was revamping an old Soviet ship to be its first carrier, a project that has added to regional worries over the country's fast military expansion and growing assertiveness on territorial issues.

    "We are currently re-fitting the body of an old aircraft carrier, and will use it for scientific research, experiments and training," defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a news briefing.

    Asked whether the carrier's addition to China's military arsenal would significantly raise the country's military capability, Geng said only that to "overrate or underrate the carrier's role are both incorrect".

    The United States on Friday welcomed China's mention of the carrier, calling it a step toward better transparency between the Pacific powers.

    China's People's Liberation Army -- the largest armed force in the world -- is extremely secretive about its defence programmes, which benefit from a huge and expanding military budget boosted by the nation's runaway economic growth.

    The PLA also operates the country's navy.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english201..._131039851.htm


    China's aircraft carrier leaves shipyard for first sea trial

    File photo of China's refitted aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier left its shipyard at Dalian Port in northeast Liaoning Province on Wednesday morning to start its first sea trial. Military sources said that the first sea trial was in line with schedual of the carrier's refitting project and would not take a long time. After returning from the sea trial, the aircraft carrier will continue refit and test work. (Xinhua Photo)








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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Well, we knew this day was coming. Guess we'll see how it holds up and what type of a job the Chinese did on it.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    I can hear is "Glug..glug..."

    /grin
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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    The Carrier of Asia-Pacific Troubles

    An aircraft carrier gives Beijing tremendous capabilities and could worsen regional tensions.




    By FUMIO OTA

    The trials of China's first aircraft carrier, which put to sea on Wednesday, mark the beginning of a major transition in naval doctrine. All the world's navies can be divided into two types. The "sea denial" type, which China belonged to up until now, aims to block the possible dominance of other navies, for instance by using submarine or mine warfare. The other type, which includes the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, aims for control of the sea. China has declared its intention to join this elite club.
    Aircraft carriers will provide Beijing with tremendous capabilities and flexibility. So far, Chinese air coverage has been geographically limited because it employs land-based planes. The increased power projection made possible by carrier-borne aircraft will pose a challenge for Japan. Aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, for example, freely patrol in the vicinity of Chinese oil rigs in the East China Sea. This freedom is going to be limited once a Chinese aircraft carrier deploys in the region.
    My friends in the U.S. Navy aren't as worried. China's investment in aircraft carriers will be a waste of money, they say, because a Chinese carrier will be highly vulnerable to American nuclear attack submarines during a time of war. But that doesn't reassure the Japanese. Since the Japanese navy does not field nuclear attack submarines, a Chinese carrier could pose a serious threat to Japanese territorial integrity. Other navies in Asia, which also lack strong submarine capabilities, must share the same fear.
    Another operational gain for China is in anti-air warfare. This has been one of the historical disadvantages of the Chinese Navy—they haven't been successful at checking or interdicting enemy aircraft. Possessing an aircraft carrier will allow it to overcome that handicap by using carrier-borne fighters to intercept the enemy.
    More broadly, carriers will give Beijing greater strategic reach. By 2050, the Chinese Navy hopes to possess at least three carrier battle groups for each of its three fleets.
    View Full Image



    Reuters China's new aircraft carrier increases its tactical abilities and the chances of a strategic overreach. Other countries in the region should be worried.






    Chinese maritime strategy shifted from coastal defense to offshore defense during the early 1980s, and now it could shift again, this time to far-sea defense. In March the State Council published "China's National Defense in 2010," stating that China is implementing a military strategy of active defense. A similar 2008 document noted that the defense policy is "purely" defensive in nature—the word "purely" is missing in the 2010 edition. That's a key indicator of Beijing's motives.
    All this has Japan worried. China's 1992 Territorial Water Law claims the East China Sea, which includes the Senkaku Islands that Tokyo administers (Beijing calls them the Diaoyutai Islands). Beijing first claimed rights over these islands in 1970 after a United Nations body announced the possibility of submerged energy resources there. It has been harassing Japanese coast guard ships near these islands since then.
    Equally pressing is the South China Sea, over which the 1992 law also makes claims. In fact, China's first operational carrier would probably belong to the South China Fleet; no other country in that region has a powerful navy, so it will be easier to conduct operations there.
    Beijing has been very assertive in the South China Sea and has consequently heightened tensions in the region. This year, Vietnam cried foul about the cutting of a cable of a surveillance ship and the Philippines complained about the harassment of a resources observation ship. Still, Chinese officials maintained at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June that the South China Sea is generally stable.
    One problem is that China interprets international law at her convenience. And those interpretations differ significantly from those of other nations. For example, China has conducted ocean surveillance operations in the exclusive economic zones of other countries, including Japan. Yet Beijing doesn't allow other navies the freedom of navigation in her EEZ.
    The bigger problem, as its strategic outlook suggests, is that China is not a status quo power, unlike Japan or the U.S. Chinese leaders say that the country has no hegemonic aspirations and that its rise is peaceful—that Beijing is to be trusted. That it now has the guns to back up its strategic motives engenders mistrust, not confidence.
    The big question is how the West, including Japan, should cope with China's expanding maritime strategy. Japan, the U.S. and other democracies need to improve their power-projection capabilities to check the rise of authoritarian China. That is the thinking behind the Air Sea Battle concept that the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments published last year, and the launch of the first Chinese carrier is another indication that Tokyo and Washington should waste no time implementing it.
    Vice Admiral Ota (Retd.) is a former director of Defense Intelligence Headquarters in the Japan Defense Agency.
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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    Sorry can't get to the site from here:
    Business Recorder

    China's first aircraft carrier completes sea trial

    Xinhua - ‎Aug 15, 2011‎
    BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- In waters off Liaoning Province in northeastern China, where the country's first aircraft carrier concluded its four-day sea trial Sunday morning.
    China's First Aircraft Carrier Completes Initial Sea Trials Voice of America

    Aircraft Carrier? What Aircraft Carrier? Oh, That Aircraft Carrier! Huffington Post

    Daily Pioneer - Asia Times Online - AFP - People's Daily Online all 391 news articles »
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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...87f46cd12d.5c1

    China's first aircraft carrier starts second trial
    (AFP) – 8 hours ago

    BEIJING — China's first aircraft carrier began its second sea trial on Tuesday after undergoing refurbishments and testing, the government said, as tensions over maritime territorial disputes in the region ran high.

    The 300-metre (990-foot) ship, a refitted former Soviet carrier called the Varyag, underwent five days of trials in August that sparked international concern about China's widening naval reach.

    "China's aircraft carrier platform, after successfully completing its first sea trial in August, returned to the shipyard as planned for further refitting and testing," the defence ministry said in a brief statement.

    "The work has been carried out and it set sail again on November 29 to carry out relevant scientific and research experiments."

    Beijing only confirmed this year that it was revamping the old Soviet ship and has repeatedly insisted that the carrier poses no threat to its neighbours and will be used mainly for training and research purposes.

    But the August sea trials were met with concern from regional powers including Japan and the United States, which called on Beijing to explain why it needs an aircraft carrier.

    Tuesday's announcement comes against a background of heightened tensions over maritime disputes in the Asia-Pacific region, where China's growing assertiveness has put it on collision course with the United States.

    President Barack Obama this month irritated Beijing with a drive to enhance the US role as a regional power, positioning Marines in northern Australia and pushing for a potentially transformational trans-Pacific trade pact.

    Beijing sees the initiatives as intruding into its own sphere of influence, with the dispute over the South China Sea putting the two major world powers' differences into stark focus.

    China claims all of the strategic area, as does Taiwan, while four Southeast Asian countries declare ownership of parts of it, with Vietnam and the Philippines accusing Beijing's forces of increasing aggression there.

    The region is a conduit for more than one-third of the world's seaborne trade and half its traffic in oil and gas, and major petroleum deposits are believed to lie below the seabed.

    The announcement of the carrier's second sea trial comes after Beijing said last week it would conduct "routine" naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean before the end of November.

    China reportedly bought the carrier's immense armoured hull -- with no engine, electrics or propeller -- from Ukraine in 1998.

    The PLA -- the world's largest active military -- is extremely secretive about its defence programmes, which benefit from a huge and expanding military budget boosted by the nation's runaway economic growth.

    Earlier this year, China announced military spending would rise 12.7 percent to 601.1 billion yuan ($91.7 billion) in 2011.

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    Default Re: Report: Chinese Carrier Almost Finished


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