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Posted: 3/12/2006 4:02:15 PM EDT


from:www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-china-build-aircraft-carrier-develop-navy-fleet-report-/2006/03/10/1446414.htm


[March 10, 2006]


China to build aircraft carrier to develop navy fleet: report+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)HONG KONG, March 10_(Kyodo) _ The Chinese military is currently planning to build an aircraft carrier, a pro-Beijing daily in Hong Kong reported Friday.

"The Chinese army will conduct research and build an aircraft carrier and develop our own aircraft carrier fleet," People's Liberation Army Lt. Gen. Wang Zhiyuan was quoted as saying in the Chinese-language Wen Wei Po.

"An aircraft carrier is a very important tool for big countries defending their interests in the sea. China is a big country with a long shoreline. An aircraft carrier is necessary to defend our interests in the sea," he said.

It would be China's first aircraft carrier and would likely be deployed to join other warships currently in the South China Sea, the newspaper said.

Wang said the carrier fleet will not be complete for another three to five years.

The newspaper said aircraft fit for the carrier and auxiliary warships and submarines are either being built or completed.

It also quoted sources as saying China may deploy its aircraft carrier fleet near the energy fuel supply route in South China Sea where warships are now being deployed.

The barriers for China to build its own aircraft carrier include technology advancement, hardware and software support, building and maintenance costs and political pressure from overseas over China's becoming a military threat in the region, the newspaper reported.

Global Security Link on China's Carrier Project
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:19:50 PM EDT
An Article from Last January
-----------------------------------
An aircraft carrier for China?
By David Lague International Herald Tribune

MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2006


BEIJING As China builds a military to match its growing economic power, its neighbors and potential rivals including the United States have puzzled over a key question: When will the Chinese Navy launch an aircraft carrier?

For decades, senior Chinese military and political officials have argued that for the country to become a great power, the People's Liberation Army Navy needs to add these potent warships to its fleet.

However, the major obstacle to this ambition is that aircraft carriers are hugely expensive.

The two 50,000-metric-ton conventionally powered carriers now under development for Britain's Royal Navy are expected to cost a minimum of $2.5 billion each. To outfit them with aircraft could cost that much again.

And, aircraft carriers do not operate alone. They need a fleet of warships, submarines and supply vessels along with advanced electronic surveillance for support and protection.

For these reasons, most experts assumed a Chinese carrier was decades away.

But after double-digit increases in defense spending over much of the past 15 years, evidence is now emerging that China has a more ambitious timetable.

"I am convinced that before the end of this decade, we will see preparations for China to build its first indigenous aircraft carrier," said Rick Fisher, the Washington-based vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center and an expert on the Chinese military.

Fisher and other analysts note that extensive work now appears to be under way on a carrier purchased from Ukraine, the Varyag, now moored in the northern Chinese port of Dalian.

They speculate that the Varyag, fresh from the dry dock and, according to recent photographs, now painted in the navy's gray, could be used for training or even upgraded so that it was fully operational.

Not surprisingly, the Taiwan military has also been monitoring activity on the Varyag.

At a briefing in Taipei on Jan. 19, a Taiwan military spokesman, Liu Chih-chien, pointed to satellite photographs of the carrier at anchor in Dalian, where he said it had been under repair.

"Although China claimed that the Varyag will be used as a tourist attraction, the aircraft carrier would actually be used as a training ship in preparation for building an aircraft carrier battle group," Liu said.

Analysts also report that at recent international air shows, Chinese military officers have been showing strong interest in strike aircraft suited to fly from carriers.

As with earlier reports that the Chinese Navy intended to acquire aircraft carriers, Beijing denied Taiwan's claim.

"We don't know where the Taiwanese authorities got their so-called intelligence," said Li Weiyi, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, according to a report carried last week by the official Xinhua news agency.


Maybe from Here?


Whatever the timetable, most naval experts agree that China will almost certainly build or buy aircraft carriers.

"Given China's strategic ambitions, it's a logical move," said Sam Bateman, a maritime security expert at Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

"I am sure the PLAN has carrier aspirations," he said, referring to the People's Liberation Army Navy.

Bateman said that, like the United States, two of China's neighbors, India and Japan, would be anxious about the prospect of carriers in the Chinese fleet.

What is clear is that China has already invested decades of effort in its bid to gain the technology and skills needed to build and operate these warships.

Admiral Liu Huaqing, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission before his retirement in 1997, is widely regarded as the father of the navy's aircraft carrier program.

Heavily influenced by his exposure to top Russian naval experts during his studies in the Soviet Union as a young officer in the 1950s, Liu advocated that China should have aircraft carriers as the backbone of a "blue water" navy that could deploy beyond the country's coastal waters.

In military journals published in the 1990s he wrote that aircraft carriers would ensure China's control over Taiwan and territories it claimed in the South China Sea and match the growing military power of neighbors including Japan and India.

Liu, along with other senior Chinese defense analysts, also recognized that China was becoming a major trading power and would become increasingly dependent on secure sea lanes to carry its imports of energy and raw materials and exports of manufactured goods.

They argued that aircraft carriers would give the navy the ability to keep these sea lanes open in times of conflict or international tension.

Other analysts also say that a carrier would be symbolically important as evidence of Chinese power in the same way that U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier battle groups serve as a reminder of America's global reach.

Early work on the feasibility of building a carrier began in Shanghai in the early 1980s but the first clear sign of China's ambition came in 1985 when China bought a decommissioned Australian aircraft carrier, apparently for scrap.

However, before the vessel was dismantled, Chinese experts studied the design of this carrier and used the flight deck for pilot training, according to naval analysts.

The disintegration of the once-powerful Soviet Navy after the collapse of the Soviet Union provided further opportunities to study the design and construction of modern carriers.

Senior defense officials in Japan and Southeast Asia were intrigued when Chinese companies bought two decommissioned Russian antisubmarine carriers, the Minsk and Kiev, but speculation that these would have some military role in China proved groundless.

The Minsk was converted into a floating museum in Shenzhen, and the Kiev is also being modified, to serve as a floating tourist attraction in Tianjin.

In the 1990s, a number of countries including Spain and France signaled that they would be prepared to build or sell an aircraft carrier to China but Beijing apparently declined these overtures.

Some experts on the Chinese military say that plans to build or buy a carrier were shelved after 1997 with the retirement of Liu and renewed emphasis on military preparations to fight a war over Taiwan if the island declared independence.

Taiwan's proximity to the mainland means land-based Chinese aircraft and missiles would be well within range in the event of a conflict.

As recently as 2003 in its annual report to Congress on China's military, the Pentagon said China appeared to have "set aside indefinitely" its plans to acquire a carrier.

Instead, the Chinese military seemed intent on developing the firepower to sink aircraft carriers, a move clearly aimed at deterring the United States if it decided to intervene in any conflict over Taiwan.

This included a rapid upgrade of China's conventional and nuclear submarine fleet, the delivery of advanced Russian surface warships armed with supersonic missiles and an expanded force of Russian-made and domestically produced strike aircraft.

However, the purchase for $20 million of the 67,500-metric-ton Varyag from Ukraine in 1998 suggested that Beijing retained a strong desire for aircraft carriers and a blue-water navy.

The Varyag was still under construction in a Ukrainian shipyard when the Soviet Union collapsed and neither Russia nor Ukraine had the funds to complete the work.

A Macao-based company with close ties to the Chinese armed forces bought the carrier without engines, rudders or armament and said it would be moored in the former Portuguese colony as a floating casino.

At the time, most analysts said this seemed an unlikely explanation for the purchase because Macao's harbor was far too shallow to berth a warship of this size.

After a long delay while Turkish authorities, fearful of the danger to shipping, refused permission for the carrier to be towed through the Bosporus, the Varyag was eventually delivered to the Dalian shipyard in 2002.

The fact that Beijing went to great diplomatic lengths to persuade Turkish authorities to allow the transit was seen by some experts as further evidence of China's determination to improve its understanding of carrier technology.

There is tight security surrounding the Varyag in Dalian harbor, but work on the vessel is clearly visible from nearby highways.

Recent photographs show extensive repairs or maintenance to the carrier's superstructure and deck.

"There is a lot of work happening on that thing which is not consistent with a gambling casino," Fisher said.

BEIJING As China builds a military to match its growing economic power, its neighbors and potential rivals including the United States have puzzled over a key question: When will the Chinese Navy launch an aircraft carrier?

For decades, senior Chinese military and political officials have argued that for the country to become a great power, the People's Liberation Army Navy needs to add these potent warships to its fleet.

However, the major obstacle to this ambition is that aircraft carriers are hugely expensive.

The two 50,000-metric-ton conventionally powered carriers now under development for Britain's Royal Navy are expected to cost a minimum of $2.5 billion each. To outfit them with aircraft could cost that much again.

And, aircraft carriers do not operate alone. They need a fleet of warships, submarines and supply vessels along with advanced electronic surveillance for support and protection.

For these reasons, most experts assumed a Chinese carrier was decades away.

But after double-digit increases in defense spending over much of the past 15 years, evidence is now emerging that China has a more ambitious timetable.

"I am convinced that before the end of this decade, we will see preparations for China to build its first indigenous aircraft carrier," said Rick Fisher, the Washington-based vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center and an expert on the Chinese military.

Fisher and other analysts note that extensive work now appears to be under way on a carrier purchased from Ukraine, the Varyag, now moored in the northern Chinese port of Dalian.

They speculate that the Varyag, fresh from the dry dock and, according to recent photographs, now painted in the navy's gray, could be used for training or even upgraded so that it was fully operational.

Not surprisingly, the Taiwan military has also been monitoring activity on the Varyag.

At a briefing in Taipei on Jan. 19, a Taiwan military spokesman, Liu Chih-chien, pointed to satellite photographs of the carrier at anchor in Dalian, where he said it had been under repair.

"Although China claimed that the Varyag will be used as a tourist attraction, the aircraft carrier would actually be used as a training ship in preparation for building an aircraft carrier battle group," Liu said.

Analysts also report that at recent international air shows, Chinese military officers have been showing strong interest in strike aircraft suited to fly from carriers.

As with earlier reports that the Chinese Navy intended to acquire aircraft carriers, Beijing denied Taiwan's claim.

"We don't know where the Taiwanese authorities got their so-called intelligence," said Li Weiyi, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, according to a report carried last week by the official Xinhua news agency.

Whatever the timetable, most naval experts agree that China will almost certainly build or buy aircraft carriers.

"Given China's strategic ambitions, it's a logical move," said Sam Bateman, a maritime security expert at Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

"I am sure the PLAN has carrier aspirations," he said, referring to the People's Liberation Army Navy.

Bateman said that, like the United States, two of China's neighbors, India and Japan, would be anxious about the prospect of carriers in the Chinese fleet.

What is clear is that China has already invested decades of effort in its bid to gain the technology and skills needed to build and operate these warships.

Admiral Liu Huaqing, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission before his retirement in 1997, is widely regarded as the father of the navy's aircraft carrier program.

Heavily influenced by his exposure to top Russian naval experts during his studies in the Soviet Union as a young officer in the 1950s, Liu advocated that China should have aircraft carriers as the backbone of a "blue water" navy that could deploy beyond the country's coastal waters.

In military journals published in the 1990s he wrote that aircraft carriers would ensure China's control over Taiwan and territories it claimed in the South China Sea and match the growing military power of neighbors including Japan and India.

Liu, along with other senior Chinese defense analysts, also recognized that China was becoming a major trading power and would become increasingly dependent on secure sea lanes to carry its imports of energy and raw materials and exports of manufactured goods.

They argued that aircraft carriers would give the navy the ability to keep these sea lanes open in times of conflict or international tension.

Other analysts also say that a carrier would be symbolically important as evidence of Chinese power in the same way that U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier battle groups serve as a reminder of America's global reach.

Early work on the feasibility of building a carrier began in Shanghai in the early 1980s but the first clear sign of China's ambition came in 1985 when China bought a decommissioned Australian aircraft carrier, apparently for scrap.

However, before the vessel was dismantled, Chinese experts studied the design of this carrier and used the flight deck for pilot training, according to naval analysts.

The disintegration of the once-powerful Soviet Navy after the collapse of the Soviet Union provided further opportunities to study the design and construction of modern carriers.

Senior defense officials in Japan and Southeast Asia were intrigued when Chinese companies bought two decommissioned Russian antisubmarine carriers, the Minsk and Kiev, but speculation that these would have some military role in China proved groundless.

The Minsk was converted into a floating museum in Shenzhen, and the Kiev is also being modified, to serve as a floating tourist attraction in Tianjin.

In the 1990s, a number of countries including Spain and France signaled that they would be prepared to build or sell an aircraft carrier to China but Beijing apparently declined these overtures.

Some experts on the Chinese military say that plans to build or buy a carrier were shelved after 1997 with the retirement of Liu and renewed emphasis on military preparations to fight a war over Taiwan if the island declared independence.

Taiwan's proximity to the mainland means land-based Chinese aircraft and missiles would be well within range in the event of a conflict.

As recently as 2003 in its annual report to Congress on China's military, the Pentagon said China appeared to have "set aside indefinitely" its plans to acquire a carrier.

Instead, the Chinese military seemed intent on developing the firepower to sink aircraft carriers, a move clearly aimed at deterring the United States if it decided to intervene in any conflict over Taiwan.

This included a rapid upgrade of China's conventional and nuclear submarine fleet, the delivery of advanced Russian surface warships armed with supersonic missiles and an expanded force of Russian-made and domestically produced strike aircraft.

However, the purchase for $20 million of the 67,500-metric-ton Varyag from Ukraine in 1998 suggested that Beijing retained a strong desire for aircraft carriers and a blue-water navy.

The Varyag was still under construction in a Ukrainian shipyard when the Soviet Union collapsed and neither Russia nor Ukraine had the funds to complete the work.

A Macao-based company with close ties to the Chinese armed forces bought the carrier without engines, rudders or armament and said it would be moored in the former Portuguese colony as a floating casino.

At the time, most analysts said this seemed an unlikely explanation for the purchase because Macao's harbor was far too shallow to berth a warship of this size.

After a long delay while Turkish authorities, fearful of the danger to shipping, refused permission for the carrier to be towed through the Bosporus, the Varyag was eventually delivered to the Dalian shipyard in 2002.

The fact that Beijing went to great diplomatic lengths to persuade Turkish authorities to allow the transit was seen by some experts as further evidence of China's determination to improve its understanding of carrier technology.

There is tight security surrounding the Varyag in Dalian harbor, but work on the vessel is clearly visible from nearby highways.

Recent photographs show extensive repairs or maintenance to the carrier's superstructure and deck.

"There is a lot of work happening on that thing which is not consistent with a gambling casino," Fisher said.


Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:23:29 PM EDT
There are 2 kinds of boats in the water.

Subs....



and TARGETS!

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:45:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
There are 2 kinds of boats in the water.

Subs....



and TARGETS!




And anything they develop in the next 10 years would be in the "target" category!

Merlin
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:50:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Merlin:

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
There are 2 kinds of boats in the water.

Subs....



and TARGETS!




And anything they develop in the next 10 years would be in the "target" category!

Merlin



Man, are they gonna be pissed when they watch 5 billion dollars sink to the bottom of the South China Sea.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 5:37:17 PM EDT
I certainly hope it's as good as their first nuclear sub...which is still docked...
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