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Chinese Aircraft Carrier Almost Complete

by John Reed on May 6, 2011

These images show an aircraft carrier that’s very close to being launched. Yup, they’re of the Chinese carrier Shi Lang (ex Soviet Varyag) and they clearly show what appear to be Active Phased array radars similar to those found on Aegis ships, rolling airframe missile defensive systems and other signs (including freshly painted Chinese lettering on the island (that’s just a watermark, doh!), hot exhaust coming from the funnel and considerably less scaffolding than just a few months ago) of a ship that’s almost ready for sea trials. Also remember that China is about to field its own carrier-borne fighters.

Images via China Defense Blog.

 

 

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

andyinsdca May 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Owning a carrier is one thing, operating one, or even a carrier strike group, is something completely different.

Referenced from: http://globlogization.wikistrat.com/weblog/#ixzz1

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aeppe May 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Yes, I believe everyone gets that. Instead of dismissively waving it off, you should realize that one has to start somewhere. Nobody is saying that China will be landing in LA anytime soon just because of this, but it is impressive how quickly they've been modernizing

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TLAM Strike May 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Exactly. I bet the HIJMS Hosho didn’t look so impressive back in 1921, but 20 years latter its decedents sent half the US Pacific Fleet to the bottom and kicked the combined navies of the US and Brittan out of the western Pacific and Indian ocean.

It was a mistake to underestimate the Japanese back then and it is a mistake to underestimate the Chinese now.

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Tenn Slim May 11, 2011 at 10:01 am

AGREE 100 %

History of Chin, IE Theodore H. White, Circ 1945, predicted exactly what has happened in the last part of the 20th century.

China has the money, labor, technology, and intitiave, to field a Carrier Task Force. Apply that to the South Sea Island, ripe with undiscovered oil, off shore of these islands, and we have 1939 Co Prosperity Sphere all over again.

NEVER, Ever underestimate a country with population, resources of a China. They have been around since pre history days. LONG before the US or the Europeans.
end
Semper FI

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brok3n May 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Looks like they have an E-2 to compliment their Russian carrier:

http://china-defense.blogspot.com/2011/05/chinese-hawkeye-awac.html

If China could be sued for all its copy cat designs, they would be bankrupt!

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Will May 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

E-2C/AWACS style rotating radomes are old tech. A new plane should have a phased array, unless you're behind the curve, which apparently they are.

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Bob May 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Really what if they demanded royalties for every gunpowder based weapons system the west has ever made?

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Gregory Savage May 7, 2011 at 12:14 pm

e-2d is aesa.

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duh June 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

If only China sued the West for taking the design of muskets, there would be no America and no industrial revolution. The West would have no money to even speak of bankruptcy.

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anon May 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Imitation means either they are blindly aping what the Navy did yesterday, or they did their own studies that validated the idea. Which is always nice.

I wonder if industrial espionage is to blame, but I wouldn't be surprised…

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ew-3 May 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Beware of appearances when judging technical devices.
As a former EW I'd prefer to hear that radar when it's fired up. This way I can judge what it can do. Same for the RAM. Are it's missiles as effective as our RAMs? Visual imagery is limited to quantity and not quality. And sometimes the quantity is wrong.
Back in the day, we very much over rated what the Soviet Navy had. Too many assumptions based on pictures.

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Morty May 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I just keep wondering what they need or would use a carrier for

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STemplar May 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Sail up and lay claim to some of the un-occupied or possibly occupied Spratly's.

Sail to the eastern side of Taiwan and conduct bombing drills off their coast.

Do a world cruise and hit ports of call like Venezuela, Cuba, etc.

More or less be as big a pain in our @$$ as they can.

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xpoqx May 7, 2011 at 1:28 am

Seconded, this definatly will affect our ability to project force across the globe.

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annnnnnon May 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Oh come on. EVERY major power in the world has at least one carrier. India has one. Russia has one. Hell, even Brazil has a carrier. This doesn't mean they're gonna be stroming around invading all of Asia.That said, it would certainly be prudent to keeep a close watch on the PLAN and make sure they use this new ship for defense and not expansion, but a carrier equipped China is not going to upset the balance of world power anytime soon.
As to why they need it, why does any country need a carrier? To protect their overseas interests. China is getting alot of those lately.

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Nadnerbus May 7, 2011 at 2:26 am

Force projection, same as us. To what end, that is the question. Will they be a merchant "empire" like us, or do they have grander ideas?

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STemplar May 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

Tough to say. 1 carrier isn't much capability, you need what is it 3 or 4 to keep one deployed constantly. I'd say mostly this one starts to give them practice and options for their region.

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IFB May 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

I can't see China realistically becoming a "merchant empire" as mighty as the US is today. It's goals would have to be much more modest to have any chance of succeeding.

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CSZ May 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

That's what the Brits said about US two centuries ago…

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branden May 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

to kick americas ass you idiot

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henry May 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

what do you think they want it for? to use against america . no question bout that.

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asdf May 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

whatever america does with theirs i guess… or france or gb or india…

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Matrix_3692 May 7, 2011 at 3:25 am

the chinese characters are meaningless (because i am a malaysian chinese and i am educated in chinese language) looks to me that the characters are some kind of trademark for whoever supplied these photos(photo shopped) most likely some chinese military fan blogger

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anon May 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

Probably a watermark of some kind, but placed weirdly. Not a very good photoshop job.

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exchangerates May 7, 2011 at 4:11 am

I totally agree the us is eons ahead of China. The us has a long history of carrier operations and development. The Chinese are just starting out.

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John Johnson May 7, 2011 at 4:38 am

true true. but the non-military minded media/folks (you know the ones who don't know the difference between an AEGIS destroyer and a battleship from WW2) will think China is getting close…

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PacificSentinel May 7, 2011 at 5:03 am

You also have to remember that this is a training carrier to get them ready for future home-grown carriers, the threat from this ship is negligible, it’s what it will teach them about carrier operations over the next 10 years that’s the real issue.

When the home-grown carriers start coming online is when I’ll start to worry.

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ThePaganTemple May 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Pretty soon they are going to be able to augment this with a top of the line attack chopper.

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Daviv in MA May 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I hope they don't have some major explosion and have to start building the thing all over again.
Does aluminum have a radar deflection capacity?
I would dearly like to see the bamboo framework in this thing.
What! No engines? Coal fired? Nope, Pedal power.
Ya got to admire the chinese for their ecology concerns….

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Steve jobs May 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm

When China takes over Taiwan, they will use this baby. When they maneuver to stop the US from interfering, it won't be with an aircraft carrier, it will be done over the internet.

"Attack the enemy where they are vulnerable, and avoid them where they are strong…"

Sun-Tsu "The Art of War"

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Chimp May 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

Yes, but the point is *not* to fight. You only fight on "death ground". As the US Marines have it, if you aren't cheating, you aren't fighting.

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Zippy May 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

The USS Enterprise is slated to be retired sometime within the next year or two. Maybe we can sell that to Taiwan to even things out a bit.

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elportonative77 May 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

No way Jose. We wasted the last Enterprise by scrapping it. We shouldn't do the same to this one. Yes, giving it to anyone (including Taiwan) is a waste. Strip it of any classified or sensitive material and turn it into a floating museum. We need that old girl to stick around.

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Nadnerbus May 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

Even if it does have more life left in the hull, doesn't it need a refueling overhaul anyway to keep it going? That's expensive, not to mention the millions of dollars a day it costs to operate a CVN. I seriously doubt Taiwan has any interest in one, it would suck up their whole defense budget for a negligible gain. They already have a big carrier in the form of the island of Taiwan.

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ankalope May 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Taiwan would be better off if our politicians had the balls to sell them basic defensive equipment that they've been holding back from them. A carrier wouldn't do them any good. They need SAMs, subs, ATGMs, fighters, gunships, comm gear, and jammers.

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anon May 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

Taiwan has a fair amount of second-rate equipment, reflecting our preference for the People's Republic over the Republic of China. The price of driving the Sino-Soviet split even deeper was abandoning South Vietnam and Taiwan, and I guess it paid off for the United States.

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anon May 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

To be honest, I'm not sure if that is the problem. Taiwan could certainly go to the trouble of forming a full-fledged indigenous weapons industry like Singapore or South Korea if they felt the need to develop the means to self-defense, but they haven't.

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Mike simmons May 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

We ain't gonna sell the Big E to China, the bastards are gonna take her as partial payment of the MASSIVE debt they have over us! Probably snatch up an air wing for it, too.

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terry May 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

zip great idea!!!!!!!! also big deal so they got a beater carrier left over from the cold war. It will take decades for them to really know how to use one. Oh! by the way we all have to say thanks bill clinton for giving china missile tech for money to run for president. "I did not have relations with that woman" Ha!

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anon May 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

Loralgate was the fault of the company, not Clinton.

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Lance May 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Im not surprised the Chinese are getting there new carrier done. Its not there carrier its a Soviet carrier. all they have to do is to get ride of the corrosion on it and reinstall newer radars on it. The Chinese lack a current capability to make there own carriers. I still don't get this stupid fear mongering Defense tech is fixated on China. Russia is a larger threat.

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KrnWhr May 10, 2011 at 6:59 am

Why is everyone so obsessed with Russia being a threat to US? I'm originally from Russia, but immigrated to US and now I'm a US citizen. Let me tell you something, Russia never had any designs on attacking the US. Not even in the Cold War era. Certainly not now. Be real. They got no reason for it. They want to be friends with US and do business together. China is the real threat! These a$$holes are tricky cheaters of the first kind! They will do anything to spread out. Look what they did to US already! W'e're paying their salaries to get cheap, crappy quality products and everyone's happy. We're dancing to their fiddle. They think Chinese are the smartest and the best. That's what they are brainwashed to think. They think white people are lower than them. They hate blacks and Mexicans. Phuck them! We should stop doing business with these racist pigs and bring jobs back to US!

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human May 13, 2011 at 2:56 am

you be a us citizen but you are still a son of russia you will not die a american as the only true natives were killed by immigrates.

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Henry May 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Ive met many russian immagrants to the u.s. i would prefer them here over anyone. and as far as china goes. ive said it for as long as i can remember. they hate america, freedom, and people in general. if they had the power to do so. they would attack us tommarow. Ive done work for them. and they are the greediest humans in the world. very selfish and cheep.

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KrnWhr May 10, 2011 at 7:03 am

P'huck the Chinese. They are all racist pigs! Biggest cheaters in the universe. Every goddamn word coming out of their mouth is a lie!!! Someone don't believe me? Go spend some "quality" time with these sons of b'itches you'll see….

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human May 13, 2011 at 2:58 am

history tells us columbus cheater the natives with pots and pans they were european the did asia as well

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Tenn Slim May 11, 2011 at 10:05 am

Carrier Warfare AKA WW 2 is long past.
Stealth missles, Air Defense, Ship to Ship missles, make the Analogy to WW2 air fight simply wrong.
bt
China, may indeed, be able to field some type of Carrier task force. They will opt for JOINT Exercises first. China has the economic upper hand. We OWE them big time. So, a Carrier to Carrier confrontation is not likely.
bt
HOWEVER, patrols in the South China Sea and the South Asian Straits, to control access to oil, trade is another matter. USE of the China fleet is the key.
Adm Mahan. "Control of the sea gates = control of the economy."
end
Semper FI

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Elijah May 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Give a man a fish and you have to give him another the next day. Teach a man to fish and he comes back with guns and takes your fishinghole. We have given china our markets, they make our cloths and most of our household goods. If I come to your house and take your sofa and you do nothing! I may be back the next day to get your TV. If we are to compete militarily we must protect our markets first. A market, a road, a Country will not remain Free without protection.

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us citizen May 13, 2011 at 3:03 am

mankind in space discovers new world full of oil gas natural resources first words we come in peace then we conquer you

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zippy May 21, 2011 at 5:32 am

Am I the only one that thinks these pictures look like models? I'm being serious, they look fake. I know they have the carrier, it's just these pictures look like models to me.

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@Jeff_Head May 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm

The PLAN (Chinese) will launch the former Varyag soon. It will take them some time to get the airwing on, and particularly trained up. Several years yet.

But they are moving that way with a will.

My rendering of the PLAN CV 83, Shi Lang (former Varyag) http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircraftcarriers

Specs and Pics of the Shi Lang http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircraftcarriers

The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia http://www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon

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Woody May 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

The Chinese are taking a shortcut by using this platform, but it gets them "operational" years earlier while learning how to construct and employ a carrier and it's air-power. Carriers will be the linchpin of their continued construction of a "Blue Water Navy" long term.
From my standpoint their actual capabilities with a carrier and airwing will be relatively limited for a number of years, but the "perceived threat" will have a large impact on the region.

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Yap May 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I see the arrogance of some of the writers here. They refuse to concede that US is the sole aggressor in this world, when they invaded and invaded. Did Chines do that?
Any other country which tries to upgrade their military is a threat to US?
Or they should forever kowtow to America?

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Yoyo July 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm

@KrnWhr

Pure racist evil bastard. Whoever listen to you are plain dumb. You said you originated from the evil Russia? Who would believe Russia has no ambitious to take the World. It just no chance at all. Thank God, although the US is no better than the Russian. But, at least they are more merciful compare to Russian. In fact, they are more or less are the same kind. Russian never wants to compete with the American? Russian has not prepared for a possibility war against the American? Russian has no intention to dominate the world as the US did? Russian is no bully? Russian has no bluffing to the world? Come on, get real, buddy. Apparently, who wants to believe your nonsense you said? To those you are still in suspicious, I suggest you to ask yourself from the whole-heart, deep down you will get what I mean. I also recommend you feel free to search the websites, find the truths from yourself. History or evidence speaks louder than word. Chinese liar? It depends, perhaps, there is small group of Chinese may lie, but that does not mean all Chinese are liar. Similar to all the mankind in the globe. I believed many people would not trust the Russian, not even a little from all over the world, except India. India wants to dance with the riddle that the US has designed for them. The US introduces some trick to cheat the Indian they could compete to China. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen because like someone said, China is eons ahead of India. India is not saving their money to change the living standard to their people (suffering starvation, no proper education, no proper medication, no proper transportation, and etc), invest heavily (injecting nearly 90% of their GDP) in advancing military weaponry. Even worse, the Indian always boasting how strong their country is. In reality, it is not going to happen, not till another 50 years to grant their country a place to second world.

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Chiwi July 30, 2011 at 7:55 am

I do not know why you guys are so worried about the Chinese military power. To be honest, they do not need the gun to control the world. They will use their knowledge to beat everybody done. Have you seen any country had so many products made for the world? Have you seen any country who sent so many students to overseas? Have you seen any nation who learned so fast in the last two decade? Do not complain about the China made, just imagine what your life will be if China stops supplying USA for 12 months?????

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PacificSentinel May 7, 2011 at 3:10 am

Gunpowder has been around for centuries.

From Wiki…

The mainstream scholarly consensus is that gunpowder was invented in China, spread through the Middle East, and then into Europe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder#History

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Bob's Uncle May 7, 2011 at 4:28 am

Retarded gunpowder argument is retarded

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Nadnerbus May 7, 2011 at 4:36 am

I guess the sarcasm got lost somewhere.

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PacificSentinel May 7, 2011 at 4:55 am

Simple fact is that some people are dumb enough to believe that gunpowder is a recent thing, I was just clarifying it for those people (didn’t know if you were one of them or not).

As for sarcasm, that’s what <sarcasm> </sarcasm> tags are for! ;)

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IFB May 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

Calling it a ram is a mistake, as the Chinese FL-3000N is fin stabilized. Rolling airframe missile equivalent would be more accurate.

Further more, the Aegis SPY-1radar and likely chinese equivalents are both passive electronically scanned arrays (PESA), not AESA as stated in the article.

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Chimp May 9, 2011 at 3:40 am

You're probably right.

On the other hand, it was described pretty explicitly at Zhuhai as a "rolling body missile" or words to that effect. The girls at the stand were neat as heck… not sure about the missile!

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Chimp May 11, 2011 at 3:22 am

Only politicians believe that the military can settle issues. Been there, seen the messes.

The best you can do is buy time while something lasting is created. On the other hand, you're relying on some real pond scum (politicians and their catamites, the NGO's) for the permanent solution.

My advice is give up, close the borders, and wait for a decent sized meteor to hit.

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henry May 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Ha, racist hell! truth doest have anything to do with racisum. and loosing wal mart would be the best thing that could happen. all their products belong in the doller store. or k-mart. and the biggest problem for the u.s. is clearly china. Our childrens future is over as long as we deal with china

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