China’s Carrier Getting Ready for Flight Ops?

Well, if we need a hint that China’s first aircraft carrier, the ex-soviet Varyag is getting ready for flight operations, this might be it. These pictures show ex-Varyag’s crew conducting what looks like a FOD sweep of the ship’s flight deck. Remember, we saw a Z-8 helo operating around her flight deck just before her maiden voyage last August. On her last couple of cruises we saw what appeared to be an aircraft fueling truck sitting on her deck. Speaking of interesting things on her flight deck, check out the camoflage trailer with what looks like some sort of satellite or radar antenna on top of it sitting on the deck just aft of the ship’s island.

Click through the jump for more images.

Images via China Defense Blog.


  • Guest A

    Spread out, keep your mouths shut and eyes on the deck!

  • dddd

    Can someone tell me what those bars all along the flight deck are? Wouldn’t those be dangerous to aircraft taking off? Just curious.

  • benny

    Most ships have similar bars, barriers to keep people from falling off the deck.

  • benny

    Oops, I though you were talking about the fence type bars, not the vertical masts. Yep, look like antennas.

  • tribulation time

    thanks to you, bye

  • JackBlack

    Who has lost a a contact lens, article was not specific?

  • Lance

    I doubt it China hasn’t adopted a carrier fighter to fly off them and helicopters dont need any special ops for use on ships. Its possible China may buy either the old SU-33 design or newer adopted (in Russia) MiG-29K for ops while waiting a few years for a domestic carrier plane to pass testing and enter service.

  • blight

    Don’t they do something like this when you have FOD concerns on a runway?

  • chockblock

    Love how they copied USN uniforms for their departments. Stay classy PLA.

  • Anlushac11

    Why reinvent the wheel? Copy what one of the best trained and most experienced carrier Navies in the world is doing, watch how they operate, and take notes.

  • TLAM Strike

    Quick everyone walk down the deck like we are getting planes ready to land to distract the bloggers from our submarines:

  • Matt Holzmann

    Is this the first of their so called Niritz Class carriers?


    Imagine the FOD-walk up the ski jump on a light rain day with a strong wind. Perhaps the Chinese should call up the Royal Navy for advice. That would be a heck of a conversation. “Say, Old Chap, when you give us back Hong Kong, then we’ll tell you how we do it.”

  • Chuck

    Going to do a fast jet carrier landings in port? Don’t think so. Probably just checking before a helo landing. Nothing impressive with a helo landing on a deck in port. Unless of course, they need to practice how to look for FOD in the first place, which would mean they are pretty bad off.

  • Riceball

    Somehow I highly doubt that they don’t know how to look for FOD given that they’ve had an air force for quite some time now and I’d imagine that one of the first things they learned about running a jet age air force is to conduct FOD walks of their runways just like we do.

  • gt350

    just wait when they try to land in a decent swell or storm , are guys make it look easy when there is nothing easy about it.