Author Topic: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)  (Read 7764 times)

MCentaur

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Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« on: September 25, 2016, 12:19:43 AM »
This thread will be the repository for updates on China's first active aircraft carrier.

Chinese media touts Liaoning's 'growing combat capability'
Richard D Fisher Jr, Washington DC - Jane's Defence Weekly
09 August 2016

Source: Via fyjs.cn

Quote
China's state television revealed footage on 1 August of the country's only operational carrier, Liaoning (CV-16), carrying eight Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 fighters as well as a Z-18 and a Z-9 helicopter on its deck.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 07:33:08 AM by MCentaur »
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Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 04:35:23 AM »
China's first aircraft carrier now 'combat ready', say Chinese media | IHS Jane's 360 - 16 November 2016
Quote
The 60,000-tonne Liaoning, which was acquired from Ukraine and commissioned in 2012, had been regarded as a ship for training and development rather than an operational asset, making this the first time the carrier has been formally described as being ready for combat.

In August Chinese state television broadcast images of Liaoning carrying eight Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 fighters as well as a Z-18 and a Z-9 helicopter on its deck.

< snipped >

While China has developed the Changhe Z-18J airborne early warning (AEW) and Z-18F anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, these have yet to be seen together with the J-15 on Liaoning. These aircraft could form a full air-wing for the carrier.

dr demented

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 01:06:16 AM »
Article discusses what the Liaonang can and cannot do, and how the ship's capabilities can be used as a measuring stick for the minimal capabilities regional powers should have in terms of aircraft and air defenses.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/11/how-much-of-an-advantage-is-chinas-aircraft-carrier/?utm_content=buffer04194&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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How Much of an Advantage Is China's Aircraft Carrier?

China’s newly operational aircraft carrier could be a useful yardstick for regional countries to develop their air forces.
By Shang-su Wu
November 26, 2016

After three years of training, Beijing has announced that its aircraft carrier Liaoning and attached air units are ready for operation. Although the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has formidable air power, the Liaoning would be the only feasible platform for power projection in the foreseeable future, beyond the newly built airstrips in the South China Sea, due to China’s lack of overseas airbases. The Liaoning‘s limited capacity for aircraft could mean regional countries are able to deal with the challenge posed by the carrier.

Since the end of the Cold War, managing fighter capability has been a difficult issue for many Indo-Pacific countries thanks to the high costs of purchasing, upgrading, maintaining, and operating such aircraft. Furthermore, fighters have almost no role to play during peacetime; other than intercepting unidentified aircraft, they are mostly useful for military parades and national ceremonies. Unlike other military capabilities, which can justify their value by participating in peace operations, counterterrorism, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, fighters are generally misfits in the environment of operations other than war.

Prior to China’s aircraft carrier assuming full operations, it seemed unlikely that fighters would be adapted to take part in regional skirmishes. As of now, the regional armed conflicts are usually limited in scale, such as vessel rammings or border fire exchanges. Since there was no clear or present demand for airpower, some countries such as Cambodia and New Zealand gave up their fighter wings, and others such as Malaysia chose to make only token procurements of fighters to retain their symbolic capability.

The newly operational aircraft carrier signifies China’s increased capacity in force projection, but it is not as superior as that of the United States. Each U.S. carrier strike group hosts about 70 combat aircraft supported by aerial warning, refuelling, and electronic warfare capabilities (and remember, the U.S. Navy could bring more than one group to a conflict), China’s capability to host about 36 shipboard fighters on its lone carrier is relatively small. Plus, an aircraft carrier usually has to retain several fighters for self-defense rather than launching an all-out attack, meaning Liaoning would likely not deploy all 36 fighters at once.

In addition, the Liaoning’s ski-jump flight deck would constrain the efficiency of operating fixed winged aircraft, requiring less frequent take-offs, a shorter combat radius, and fewer payloads. The Chinese escort surface combatants may launch land attack cruise missiles to compensate for the decreased payload of shipboard combat aircraft, but small numbers of cruise missiles with small warheads, usually less than half a ton, suggest their limited capacity to supplement aircraft.

Given these constraints, it will be possible for some regional countries to develop their airpower to match the increased capabilities provided by the Chinese aircraft carrier. In the face of a PLA Navy (PLAN) expedition, a regional state’s air force, if composed of a similar or slightly smaller number of 4th or 4.5 generation fighters, equivalent to the Chinese J-15, could have considerable capability to counter. A regional air force can deploy its land-based aircraft to more than one place, perhaps protected by robust shelters and camouflage, so that it may not be possible to annihilate them in one or two waves of attack.

Apart from quantitative steps (i.e. simply purchasing more fighters), other countermeasures present alternatives for regional states to strengthen their airpower in the face of China’s build-up. If the regional air force is equipped with surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), aerial warning and command systems (AWACS), or other air defense capabilities, the PLAN fighters would find it much more difficult to establish air superiority. Without securing air superiority, J-15 fighters would be occupied with aerial combat patrols or suppressing air defenses, and thus their scope for strategic missions, such as bombing political centers, would be restricted.

Moreover, as long as the regional state’s combat aircraft are still potentially available, due to its vulnerability to minor attacks, such as attacks targeting the flight deck, the Chinese aircraft carrier would keep a safe distance. Additional distance will decrease the J-15s’ efficiency on all missions, with the fighters operating with less hang time and a shorter strike radius, while the regional state gains more time to prepare for incoming airstrikes. Provided that the regional country owns certain sea denial capabilities, such as long-range anti-ship missiles or submarines, the situation could be even unfavorable for the PLAN aircraft carrier group to conduct its strategic missions.

The main challenge would come if Beijing adds more aircraft carriers, which means more J-15 fighters, to the PLAN, but such an acquisition process is usually more expensive and time-consuming than purchasing land-based fighters. And unless Beijing overcomes the shipboard aircraft ejector conundrum, future carriers will also be saddled with the low efficiency and capacity of a ski-jump flight deck, meaning that quantitative and qualitative restrictions continue.

In other words, many regional countries in Southeast and South Asia, at least those beyond the combat radius of Chinese land-based aircraft, can avoid becoming trapped in a position of inferior airpower, despite the PLAN’s additional aircraft carrier group(s). In fact, Beijing is facing multifront geostrategic circumstances, which may not allow it to concentrate all its aircraft carrier groups in a single area of operation. This geopolitical reality will further boost the odds of regional countries’ balancing China’s expeditionary airpower. Despite its overall massive military capability, Beijing’s aircraft carrier(s) may not serve well in “gunboat diplomacy,” since the airpower of its carriers is not overwhelmingly superior.

Two squadrons of fighters could be a reasonable goal for regional countries to upgrade their air defenses at an acceptable cost. Defense planners in respective states could further adjust the content of their air forces with the other elements, such as SAMs, mentioned above to optimize the relations between combat efficiency and costs. By taking such steps, regional countries could independently preserve their security, rather than relying on a less certain third party.

Wu Shang-su is Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 07:10:17 PM »
Chinese aircraft carrier group conducts first live-fire drills | Agence France-Presse via interaksyon - December 16, 2016
Quote
China's first and only aircraft carrier led large-scale exercises in the Bohai Sea, the People's Liberation Army Navy said late Thursday in a statement on their website.

The drills involved dozens of ships and aircraft in the carrier group and saw more than 10 air-to-air, anti-ship, and air defense missiles being tested, it said.

The group also performed reconnaissance exercises, tests of early-warning systems, aerial interception, and missile defense.

The goal of the exercises was to "test the performance of weapons and the training level of the team," the statement said.

China's national broadcaster CCTV showed footage of J-15 fighter jets taking off from the carrier and firing missiles.

The drills come as a heated war of words intensifies between Beijing and US President-elect Donald Trump, who broke convention by speaking directly to Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen and even suggested Washington could jettison Washington's decades-old "One China policy."

spoon

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 01:58:55 AM »
BEIJING - A naval formation including China's first domestically made aircraft carrier, Liaoning, headed for the western Pacific Ocean on Saturday for an open-sea training exercise, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
It is believed to be the first time for a Chinese aircraft carrier to sail to the Pacific Ocean.
The mission appears aimed at sending a message to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has questioned whether Washington should continue to adhere to its nearly four-decade policy of recognizing Taiwan as part of "one China."

http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/12/24/16/chinas-liaoning-aircraft-carrier-heading-to-pacific-for-exercise

Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 10:20:21 PM »
China says aircraft carrier testing weapons in South China Sea drills | interaksyon - January 4, 2017
Quote
BEIJING - A group of Chinese warships led by its sole aircraft carrier is testing weapons and equipment in exercises this week in the South China Sea, China's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Exercises by the ships, in particular the aircraft carrier Liaoning, since last month have unnerved China's neighbors, especially at a time of heightened strain with self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and given long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

China says the Soviet-built Liaoning and the other ships conduct routine exercises that comply with international law.

"The Liaoning aircraft carrier group in the South China Sea is carrying out scientific research and training, in accordance with plans," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.

"The purpose is to test the performance of weapons and equipment," he said.

Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 10:41:42 PM »
Video: PLAN Developing its Aircraft Carrier Operations Skills in South China Sea | navy recognition - 04 January 2017


PLAN Liaoning CSG operating in the South China Sea in Sea State 4


YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxNG1dPrugU

adroth

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 05:09:20 AM »


Satellite view



In port



« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 03:28:03 PM by adroth »

dr demented

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 02:02:06 PM »
http://cimsec.org/liaoning-raises-questions-china/31078

Quote
Liaoning Raises More Questions for China

By Vidya Sagar Reddy

Introduction

China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, had put on a display of its skills recently as the carrier group transited the Western Pacific. Liaoning’s excursion, marking Beijing’s core interests, is a political message to the United States and the world as uncertainty grips them. It also marks the beginning of a new episode in the military history of Western Pacific, which has been dominated by American aircraft carriers since the Cold War, especially during the Taiwan Strait crises. Taiwan also believes that Liaoning represents China’s military ability to break through the first island chain.

Historical Context

A recount of Cold War history and Beijing’s narratives of its historical and maritime supremacy in the Western Pacific serves to put this development into a more sober perspective, informing future political and military balance in the region.

China’s civil war led to Communists controlling the mainland territory while the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan. Subsequently, the People’s Republic of China and Republic of China were established on either side of the Taiwan Strait. In the 1950s, the U.S. drew up security and mutual defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand as a bulwark of its containment policy against the spread of Communism in Asia. The U.S. also extended its diplomatic and military support to Taiwan while confronting China in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

In the 1950s, China and Taiwan clashed over the control of strategically located islands in the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. deployed its naval assets to the Strait, forcing cessation of hostilities and also signaling its political will to defend Taiwan from military aggression. However, U.S.-China relations improved in the 1970s with the former recognizing the PRC. The diplomatic recognition by the U.S. helped China modernize its industries and expand its economy.

As China’s domestic circumstances and international stature improved, it sought to define its national interests. In 2003, China’s Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan, identified Taiwan as one of China’s “core interests” in his meeting with then U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell. The subsequent official writings use terms such as ‘upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty’ and ‘reunification’ in an attempt to extend China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. The South China Sea was included in the ‘core interests’ in 2010 and the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in 2013. China is undertaking reforms and modernizing its military capabilities to attain and defend these core interests.

Admiral Liu Huaqing, called China’s Mahan, was the most influential in lobbying for a blue-water navy for the country. He oversaw the radical modernization of China’s navy in terms of concepts, strategies, and capabilities. He even drew up a timeline for China’s navy to be able to exert sea control within the first island chain by 2000, control second island chain waters by 2020 and project power as a true global navy by 2050. The aircraft carrier is the quintessential military platform that embodies such intentions, particularly for global power projection. The fact that American aircraft carriers operating across the globe, including the Western Pacific, underline this fact to China.

Signaling Capability and Strategic Intent

Liaoning then speaks of Beijing’s political will and ambition to break through the first island chain, which China considers a geographical and political containment of its power. The first island chain is a virtual line drawn from the islands of Japan passing Taiwan and the Philippines and curving at the southern end of the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam. Variations include the line either passing through the west coast or the east coast of Taiwan as well as extension of the line through the Indonesian archipelago to even reach Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In any case, China is bound to come in contact with its immediate neighbors Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, countries with which it shares a long, complex history of both cooperation and conflict.

China has also shown its knack for picking its moments to send political messages using military means. It took advantage of the world’s fixated attention on the U.S. intervention in Lebanon in 1958 to resume the bombing of Jinmen and Mazu islands in the Taiwan Strait. China’s armed incursion across the Indian border in 1962 coincides with the Cuban Missile Crisis. At present, the domestic political transition phase of the U.S. had lent Liaoning political space to carry out its objectives in support of Beijing’s core interests. Liaoning’s excursion also occurred just as President Trump signaled possible recalibration of ‘One China’ policy before his inauguration. Carrier operations require significant advance preparation, so while President Trump’s comments may not have triggered the Liaoning’s transit, the Chinese surely planned this December deployment well in advance of the U.S. election to send a message to the U.S. president-elect, whomever it would be.

China has liberally shared photographs and videos of Liaoning’s deck operations, perhaps as an aid to counter the criticism of its minimal experience in carrying out carrier operations in deep seas. Nevertheless, China cannot be expected to master those skills and capabilities inherent to maintaining a carrier strike group as its Asian peer India or the U.S. have acquired over many decades and at considerable costs. Most importantly, before China can earn international prestige, Liaoning or its successors must operate outside the overshadowing Anti-Access/Area Denial protective bubble and sustain their operations to become true power projection assets.

Even if it is the intention of China to intimidate its smaller neighbors by parading the Liaoning in the near seas, investing the financial and human resources demanded by an aircraft carrier in the Coast Guard and maritime militia makes better sense. China’s maritime militia deployed on the open seas backed by the Coast Guard and the Navy has emerged as the true instrument of coercion for altering the status quo in the South China Sea, complicating the response mechanisms of disputant countries while the U.S. has yet to officially recognize it as a concentrated force.

Extending the cost-benefit perspective to a wartime situation, it again makes better sense for China to continue investing in its missile capabilities that better serve its sea denial strategy against an adversary advancing over the seas towards its shores. The new classes of China’s destroyers and submarines, owing to their numbers and increasing technological sophistication, are already considered formidable. Even if the carriers are able to extend the reach of China’s military aircraft over the seas, they would tie down some of the aircraft and naval assets for protection against the adversary’s own long-range missile strikes.

Conclusion

In essence, China has made a fine point: it finally possesses a steaming aircraft carrier that has operated without incidents on its first venture over the seas. Beijing successfully highlighted and marked some of its core interests. While Liaoning’s foray into the seas certainly sets a mark in the fluctuating military balance of the Asia-Pacific, China has some decent obstacles to maneuver before it can claim or demand recognition for possessing an aircraft carrier. And given China’s zero tolerance for accidents, it remains to be seen how the cautious approach would help China gain mastery in this domain. As the carrier operations continue and more platforms join the Navy, China will have to determine if these platforms are indeed worth the risk and costs. Even so, China needs to assess the optimum roles that can be assigned to its carriers within the country’s overarching political and military strategies.

Vidya Sagar Reddy is a research assistant in the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative of the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.



Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 02:16:24 PM »
Helicopter detachment of Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning


Photo Credit goes to Deino via China Defense Blog

Ayoshi

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 03:25:38 PM »
China's Liaoning carrier departs Qingdao on training mission | IHS Jane's 360 - 26 June 2017
Quote
China's first in-service aircraft carrier, Liaoning , sailed from its naval base south of Qingdao on 25 June for a further round of training and exercises, according to the state-owned Xinhua news agency.

The Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier was accompanied by Luyang III-class (Type 052D) destroyer Yinchuan (175), Luyang II-class (Type 052C) destroyer Jinan (154), and Jiangkai II-class (Type 054A) frigate Yantai (538).

The news report states that the training to be conducted by the Liaoning carrier group is expected to "strengthen co-ordination among the vessels and improve the skills of crew and pilots in different marine regions".


PLAN aircraft carrier Liaoning set out from its base near Qingdao on 25 June on a training mission. Source: Xinhua

adroth

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2018, 11:41:57 AM »
Carrier rendezvous at Dalian Shipyard
Some wonder if mooring the two carriers in Dalian has crated a 'defense void' in disputed areas of the South China Sea
By FRANK CHEN MAY 30, 2018 6:45 PM (UTC+8)

http://www.atimes.com/article/chinas-two-carriers-both-dock-in-dalian/

Liaoning, the People’s Liberation Army’s solo aircraft carrier in service, has joined her sister ship, the nation’s first domestically built carrier which has yet to be christened, at the Dalian Shipyard since Sunday.

Chinese papers and military buffs are hailing the historic rendezvous of the two seagoing airbases, relishing the picture-perfect occasion of two huge vessels moored alongside each other.

Liaoning is back at her homeport of Dalian in the northeastern Chinese province it is named after for scheduled maintenance as well as R&R for her crew, having spent the majority of the first half of the year at sea. It also led an armada of ships and submarines in April which included a high-profile passage through the Taiwan Strait.

The last time Liaoning was in dry-dock was in May 2014, in the same berth where the Soviet-era vessel was retrofitted. The new homemade carrier is almost a lookalike of the Liaoning with an identical ski-jump bow. It is also moored at the Dalian Shipyard after undergoing its first sea trial earlier this month.

Recent photos indicate the new carrier is undergoing checks below her waterline, with some activity suggesting newer layers of anti-corrosion coating being put on the hull.

< Edited >

Some have also questioned if there’s now a “defense void” on China’s offshore fronts, in particular in the South China Sea, given the fact that the US sent in the Higgins, a guided-missile destroyer, and the Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, last week right after Liaoning sailed out of those waters.

A big navy needs at least three carriers to work in shifts: one berthed for checks, one at sea for training purposes while the third stays combat-ready.

< Edited >


======




adroth

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 01:25:17 PM »
China will build 4 nuclear aircraft carriers in drive to catch US Navy, experts say

Beijing expected to have at least six aircraft carrier battle groups by 2035 after it prioritised modernising its navy
Nuclear-powered carriers thought to be equipped with electromagnetic launch catapults similar to those of the US

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2019, 7:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2019, 11:27pm

SCMP

< Edited >

China has one aircraft carrier in service – the Liaoning, commissioned in 2012 – and the Type 001A, the first carrier built in the country, which is still being tested.

< Edited >

Both Wang and Song said the Liaoning would be replaced by the Type 001A by 2035, by which time the Liaoning would be obsolete. The Liaoning was refitted from a half-built Soviet hull bought from Ukraine in 1998 and is used to train carrier crews.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 01:28:02 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (ex-Varyag, 辽宁)
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2019, 11:59:37 PM »
Business insider

< Edited >

While the Liaoning — a Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser refitted to serve as China's first aircraft carrier — was present at the naval parade in Qingdao on Tuesday, China's first domestically produced aircraft carrier, which just completed its fifth sea trial, remained at the shipyard in Dalian.

< Edited >