China is preparing a carrier fleet

At the end of July, the Ministry of National Defense of China officially announced that it would soon begin testing its first aircraft carrier. This 300-meter ship, now in the port of Dalian, was created on the basis of the empty hull of the aircraft carrier Varyag of the 1143.6 project, purchased from Ukraine in the 1998 year. At the time of the deal, China announced that it would use the hull of the ship as a floating casino, but in 2005, work began on its restoration. The first Chinese aircraft carrier will be used for research and training purposes.

According to some reports, its own program to create aircraft carriers in China has been implemented for more than 20 years. Since there was no own design school in the PRC, Chinese engineers chose the already well-known way of copying foreign technologies and samples. The first swallow was the light aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, launched back in the distant 1943 year and served first in the English and then in the Australian fleet. The ship was decommissioned from the fleet in 1982 of the year, and already in 1985 was acquired by one of the Chinese firms at the price of scrap metal for just 1,4 million Australian dollars. Before you put the "ship on the needles," Chinese engineers studied its design for over a year. The deck of the aircraft carrier in 1995 was used to train naval aviation pilots. Prior to the acquisition of an aircraft carrier, pilots of special courses were forced to work out a shortened take-off and landing on a specially prepared, strengthened section of the highway.

Also, the PRC nearly got the aircraft carrier Clemenceau, which was being withdrawn from the French fleet, but world-famous events in Tiananmen Square prevented the ship from getting hold of the ship. But already in 1998, China was able to purchase from Ukraine the unfinished aircraft-launching cruiser Varyag, the 1143.6 project of the same type, the only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. The ship was sold for 20 million dollars to the tourist multi-agency "Chong Lot". At the time of sale, the ship was in a state of 70% readiness. Under pressure from the United States, at the time of sale, all military equipment was dismantled from the ship, and the Chinese, in fact, got only the hull of the ship. But even he added to the body of knowledge of Chinese engineers, because even the creation of such a floating platform is not an easy task. Even earlier, in the 1994-95 years, China was able to acquire two 1943.3 "Kiev" and "Minsk" ships, designed to house vertical take-off and landing aircraft and a helicopter group. The ships were also supposed to be floating amusement parks.

China is preparing a carrier fleet
The first aircraft carrier of the People's Republic of China "Shi Lan", the former "Varyag" at the final stage of construction

Along the same path, we went to the PRC and in developing our own deck aircraft. It is assumed that in the near future the aviation group of Chinese aircraft carrier ships will consist of J-15 fighter jets, which are an unlicensed copy of the Russian Su-33. Back in 2003, China acquired the X-NUMX test aircraft T-1K-10 (with tail number 7) in Ukraine, which belonged to the installation batch of prototype Su-89 fighter. These aircraft were released in 33 year to conduct factory tests on the complex "Thread". This aircraft was out of whack, so it remained on the territory of Crimea, while the other 1990 T-5K were transferred to Moscow in the 10 year.

In 2006, China acquired, and again in Ukraine, another deck carrier. One of the two remaining at the airfield Novofedorovka Su-25 UTG. Which is a training aircraft based on the Su-25UB with an installed hook. Its main purpose is to train pilots of carrier-based aviation to take off and land on a special ground complex equipped with devices for shortened take-off (inclined ramp-springboard) and landing (aero-finisher). It is noteworthy that in this case, Ukraine sold a semi-assembled aircraft without tail and wings, while the second Su-25UTG, relatively combat-ready, refused to sell.

In addition, there is information about the testing of the ship version of the Chinese fighter J-10. For this aircraft, in order to adapt it to the ship’s operation, a brake hook was installed, and the plane of the wings was collapsible. There is also information about the development of the twin-engine version of the aircraft with increased reliability. The capabilities of a sea-based air wing are impossible to realize without a full-fledged DLRO aircraft. According to preliminary information, the development of such an aircraft is already underway. There are photographs on the network (true, their authenticity is doubtful) which depicts a similar plane with PLA Air Force insignia, while the car is suspiciously similar to the Yak-44. The radar installed on this machine is most likely an analogue of the Israeli EL / M-2075 radar from Elta. The radar has a circular viewing area and is designed to detect and track targets at a distance of 450 km.

In this case, it would not be correct to assume that China is engaged only in copying and bringing to mind other people's developments. Currently, the press is increasingly receiving information about the laying in China of two aircraft carriers, which will be collected from scratch in Chinese shipyards.

The former Varyag, which received the name “Shi Lan” and the 83 tail number, has already been completed. It is planned that the ship will be used as a training for the training of pilots and service personnel of carrier-based aviation, as well as for testing new platforms and equipment systems, which subsequently must be installed on Chinese aircraft carriers of type 085 and type 089. In addition, there is a possibility that Shi Lan will be additionally equipped for the Center for Intelligence, Tracking, Computer Collection, Control and Communication Systems.

According to the plans of the Chinese command, by the time of 2015, the 3 of the aircraft carrier will be part of the Chinese fleet. Already practical commissioned "Shi Lan" and two aircraft carrier project 089. It is assumed that these ships will have a displacement of 48-64 000 tons and will be equipped with a conventional power plant with power up to 200 000 hp As a power plant, TB-21 steam turbines produced by the Chinese company Ludunchan can be used and allow aircraft carriers to reach speeds up to 30 units, or Ukrainian gas turbine engines, for example DA80 / DN80 (export version of the UGT-25000 engine) are manufactured at Zarya -Mashproekt. China has already bought such engines and equipped them with destroyers of the class "Luyan II" and "Guangzhou".

After completing the construction of the 2015 aircraft carrier spirit in 089, the first Chinese aircraft carrier with a nuclear power plant, with a total displacement of up to 93 000 tons, is planned to be laid here on Jiannan city. This aircraft carrier, called the 085 type, will be similar in its weapons and capabilities to the unfinished Soviet heavy aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk and is comparable to the US attack aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan. According to preliminary estimates of experts, the aircraft carrier will be equipped with equipment for the ejection takeoff of aircraft. And it will be used not a steam, but a magnetic catapult, since there is experience in developing such systems in China (magnetic train trains in Shanghai).
Atomic aircraft carrier type 085, estimated appearance

The reality of plans to build aircraft carriers is also indirectly confirmed by the purchase of 2006 deck equipment sets in Russia in 4: deck-mounted cable airliners, locking nets, delayer and other auxiliary equipment, including 4 brake kits for Su-33 fighters. The first set is planned to be used for structured analysis and possible copying followed by installation on a ground-based simulator complex. The second set, most likely, was mounted on the "Shi Liang", and 3 and 4 are designed for installation on the first two aircraft carriers of the 089 type.

In connection with such plans of the PRC to build its own carrier fleet, a completely natural question arises as to what will happen when China receives this fleet. Already, it is quite clear that this fleet is not built at all for parades. At first glance, it represents the greatest threat to Taiwan, but on the other hand, these forces are redundant, and for the war with the United States, which, most likely, will side with Taiwan, they are on the contrary too small. And the return of Taiwan by non-violent means is no longer seen as some unattainable goal. Good prerequisites for this, first of all, are economic in the PRC already now.

Therefore, the second and even the most likely direction of its application are the territories located from China in the north. Namely - the sparsely populated Russian Far East, possessing enormous natural resources, which are so necessary for the rapidly growing Chinese economy. In contrast to Taiwan, the European Union, the USA and even Belarus are unlikely to risk a quarrel over Russia with China. In fact, the hands of the PRC have already been untied; in them, so far, there is no necessary argument of force.
Russian Su-33 (above) and his twin brother J15 in flight (below)

Russia mired in corruption with an army weakened by endless reform can counter China with only one element of deterrence - nuclear weapon. However, it is worth considering what the probability is that this weapon will actually be used. First, China itself is a nuclear power that can give, if not adequate, then quite a serious answer. Secondly, its population is approaching 1,5 billion people, and therefore the threshold of sensitivity to such impacts is much higher than the Russian one. Thirdly, in China there are factories and factories of almost all world companies. Who would want Russian warheads to fall on their property? Such a blow will result in not so much an ecological as a hardest economic shock for the whole world.

Do not think that our Far Eastern neighbor is an exceptionally friendly and peace-loving country. There are no friends in politics, the greatness of other countries throughout stories was achieved by weakening others, for example, the nearest neighbors. Therefore, the only defense of Russia in this situation has been and remains a strong army and navy, which should ensure the security of not only borders and territory, but also our natural resources. In China, the armed forces are well aware of and strongly strengthened; to say that the same strengthening is taking place in Russia is not fully possible.

Sources used:
Sergey Yuferev
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