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Chinese Liaoning Carrier enters service (former Soviet carrier Varyag)

Grey Havoc

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http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/27/asia/china-aircraft-carrier-pacific/index.html

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39564&page=83#entry1284933
 

Foo Fighter

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Apparently the new chinese carrier cruising the Pacific is sending a message. A very short message if push comes to shove.
 

sferrin

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muttbutt said:
I remember when they said she'd never be in front line service and would be only used for training...oh how naive we were :-[

Not everybody. I was totally confident this is exactly what would happen back when they bought their $20 million "casino". I thought we were the dumbest retards on the block for not outbidding them and buying it ourselves. Even at $5 billion and made into a reef off Florida it would have been cheap and money well spent.
 

Hood

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Is it really that scary?
I wasn't quite three years old when the keel was laid, its spent the best part of twenty years a floating hulk and the Chinese must have spent a lot of cash and manpower to bring it back to a fit condition. I don't know if the Chinese installed a new powerplant or not but the original Soviet steam plant in Kuznetsov has been less than reliable and I note the Chinese burst a steam line during sea trials. Also look at the problems the Indians have had with Vikramaditya's plant despite the expensive overhaul.

I've no doubt the Chinese will use her as a training ship. They've never even operated a helicopter carrier before. They need to train the airgroup, the deck handling crew and also get their tactical organisation set-up and find out how to actually run carrier operations and where strategically a carrier will fit in. It will probably take them far longer to actually successfully operate a carrier task force than it will for them to build a couple more carriers. When Liaoning was Riga, Western analysts were writing about Soviet use in power projection (statements like the Su-25 was to offer ground support for just such operations) and they never really grasped these were defensive air-defence ships. Liaoning's Chinese copies will perform the same role, but it might take the Chinese time to really discover what they want, at times it looks like aping the other superpower in copying the US style. The Chinese might not realise quite how resource intensive carrier groups will be, many destroyers are going to be tied up protecting the future carriers, that could have dividends for the USN too.
 

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Thorvic

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What's the Escort group consist of Deino ?, any mention of the ship types or names ?
 

Deino

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Geoff_B said:
What's the Escort group consist of Deino ?, any mention of the ship types or names ?

Yeppp ... her escorting vessels were
2 Type 052C destroyers - the 151 Zhengzhou / ESF and 171 Haikou / SSF
1 Type 052D destroyer - the 173 Changsha / SSF
2 Type 054 frigates - the 538 Yantai and 547 Linyi, both NSF
1 Type 056A anti-submarine corvette - the 594 Zhuzhou / SSF
1 Type 903A oil-tanker - the 966 Gaoyouhu / ESF

+ we know one image of an Type 093 SSBN
 

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Thorvic

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Deino said:
Geoff_B said:
What's the Escort group consist of Deino ?, any mention of the ship types or names ?

Yeppp ... her escorting vessels were
2 Type 052C destroyers - the 151 Zhengzhou / ESF and 171 Haikou / SSF
1 Type 052D destroyer - the 173 Changsha / SSF
2 Type 054 frigates - the 538 Yantai and 547 Linyi, both NSF
1 Type 056A anti-submarine corvette - the 594 Zhuzhou / SSF
1 Type 903A oil-tanker - the 966 Gaoyouhu / ESF

+ we know one image of an Type 093 SSBN

Thanks Deino
 

muttbutt

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Seems to be appropriate here.

rrBm7Wg.jpg

J-15T EMALS test.
 

Deino

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Yes, it's real ... reportedly taken from a lecture of Professor Ma Weiming - the main leader of the Chinese PLAN EMALS project at the Chinese Academy of Engineering – the first clearer image was released showing the J-15T prototype (no. 1x1) reportedly at the EMALS-catapult position.

Deino
 

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was gonna ask this in the Russian carriers thread but felt it could go here instead since the Liaoning is a Kuznetsov class ship.

Next week is the 4 decade anniversary of the first order of the Kuznetsov class carrier (march 3 1981). it would be laid down the following year.
One must admit, it was a really unique (perhaps innovative?) idea. carrying large amounts of missiles, and using both a ski jump but arrested recovery
it would later lead to the sister ship the Varyag which is now the Liaoning,


In retrospect, do you think that with these 4 decades of experience, was the type (both Kuznetsov and Liaoning) was a successful concept and design?
On the one hand, it inspired two other new built ships, one from India and the other from the PRC
on the other hand, some may criticize its reliability as well as limited applications of the actual aircraft.

What do you armchair admirals and actual admirals think?
 

archipeppe

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In retrospect, do you think that with these 4 decades of experience, was the type (both Kuznetsov and Liaoning) was a successful concept and design?

They are essentially two unit of the same class (Project 11435), they are different mainly in various systems.

Said that is difficult to compare the long time career of Kuztnezov with the short operational service of Liaoning.
In my opinion the design itself proved to be sound but all the technical problems experienced by the Kuztnezov was linked to manufactoring and/or system faults rather than desing flaws.
 

totoro

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I'd say they are successful enough for what they were designed for. If the concept was a failure, I doubt we'd have seen 002 being built and perhaps we'd not even have seen the Indian carrier conversion. That being said, "successful enough" and "efficient and capable compared to other carriers" are two different terms.
 

Josh_TN

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A little off topic, here is where I believe the Russians are digging out the separation between two existing dry docks in order to create one large dock big enough for Kusnetsov, after the RD50 floating dock sank with the carrier in it. The ship itself is moored slightly north of the docs. I don't see why the Russians are investing this kind of effort into a ship so moderately effective, quite honestly. She sortied with all of a dozen fighters and lost two of them to accidents, if I remember her last deployment correctly. It doesn't seem like a good use of resources to refit her given her plant problems and age.

 

starviking

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A little off topic, here is where I believe the Russians are digging out the separation between two existing dry docks in order to create one large dock big enough for Kusnetsov, after the RD50 floating dock sank with the carrier in it. The ship itself is moored slightly north of the docs. I don't see why the Russians are investing this kind of effort into a ship so moderately effective, quite honestly. She sortied with all of a dozen fighters and lost two of them to accidents, if I remember her last deployment correctly. It doesn't seem like a good use of resources to refit her given her plant problems and age.

It’s a carrier - despite its capabilities, on deployment it sends a message to friends and enemies alike.
 

kaiserbill

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It also obviously keeps carrier aviation capabilities and competencies alive, until a replacement is sorted.
It keeps sea-borne fixed wing aviation current, in a doctrine sense. Any service tends to have adherents of different platform types.( Subs, etc)
I'm not sure why people struggle with this.

As for age, almost 40% of the current US navy carrier fleet are older, being laid down and launched before Kuznetsov.

And of course, the enlarged dock fits in with the general reinvestment and redevelopment of Russian shipyards seen in the last few years. It doesn't mean this enlargement is tied exclusively to the Kuznetsov only.
 
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Josh_TN

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Since Kuznetsov isn't at sea right now and lacks any propellers until it gets dry docked, it isn't fulfilling any core competency requirements. But I think where we differ fundamentally is on the idea that there is a future for Russian carrier aviation. Russian surface fleet production currently is limited to frigates. For infrastructure and budgetary reasons, I have a hard time seeing that change anytime in the future. So it is more "a replacement is sorted" that I disagree with.
 

kaiserbill

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For infrastructure and budgetary reasons, I have a hard time seeing that change anytime in the future.
Russian surface fleet production currently is limited to frigates.

This again.

You mean apart from the two larger Modified Ivan Gren follow on vessels, which are 40% larger than the first two, laid down in Kaliningrad in April 2019?

Or apart from the two 40 000t Universal Amphibious Assault Ships laid down in July 2020 in Zaliv?

There is considerable reinvestment in their shipyard infrastructure.
There has been a phased process of renewing their fleet, with bottlenecks (engines) met and dealt with, with larger vessels being constructed as the plan develops.
They intend keeping the Kuznetsov around.
There are dots that can be connected.

There are a myriad of good reasons to keep the Kuznetsov around.
Clearly, the decision makers in the Russian Navy, with facts at their disposal that we are not privy to, feel it is worthwhile at this time.
 
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ceccherini

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was gonna ask this in the Russian carriers thread but felt it could go here instead since the Liaoning is a Kuznetsov class ship.

Next week is the 4 decade anniversary of the first order of the Kuznetsov class carrier (march 3 1981). it would be laid down the following year.
One must admit, it was a really unique (perhaps innovative?) idea. carrying large amounts of missiles, and using both a ski jump but arrested recovery
it would later lead to the sister ship the Varyag which is now the Liaoning,


In retrospect, do you think that with these 4 decades of experience, was the type (both Kuznetsov and Liaoning) was a successful concept and design?
On the one hand, it inspired two other new built ships, one from India and the other from the PRC
on the other hand, some may criticize its reliability as well as limited applications of the actual aircraft.

What do you armchair admirals and actual admirals think?
The project 1143.5 class carriers have basically the cost and complexity of a full size CATOBAR but offensive capabilities much closer to a small stovl carrier. As a weapon they have a terrible cost effectiveness ratio. Still they were for both the PLAN and the Soviet navy a monumental achievement, a political one. Both recognized carriers as the core of a fleet with global aspirations, both faced internal political opposition to their built. So you build a full carrier short of catapults and you call her a cruiser/training vessel. But still you have built a carrier and to have the next one catobar and nuclear powered now appears a relativly minor evolutionary step, an acceptable and conservative one. Not what they want, not the best they could have built but exactly the kind of ship necessary to subtly introduce a radical cultural change.
 

kaiserbill

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Exactly.
Hence my use of the following in an earlier post above:

"It keeps sea-borne fixed wing aviation current, in a doctrine sense. Any service tends to have adherents of different platform types.( Subs, etc)"
 

Josh_TN

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I've no doubt the Chinese will build an extensive fleet of carriers. I can't picture the Russians doing the same. Time will tell.
 

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In retrospect, do you think that with these 4 decades of experience, was the type (both Kuznetsov and Liaoning) was a successful concept and design?
On the one hand, it inspired two other new built ships, one from India and the other from the PRC
on the other hand, some may criticize its reliability as well as limited applications of the actual aircraft.
I think it was a good idea to get better aircraft than the Harrier which had compromises forced on them for VTOL. But I view it more as a stepping stone on the way to a full up CATOBAR carrier rather than as an end point to reach.
 

In_A_Dream

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I've no doubt the Chinese will build an extensive fleet of carriers. I can't picture the Russians doing the same. Time will tell.
I think they have the money to do so and have been playing their own game, decades of hoarding billions while smartly applying $$ to R&D to stay relevant.
 

kaiserbill

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I've no doubt the Chinese will build an extensive fleet of carriers. I can't picture the Russians doing the same. Time will tell.

I have no doubt either, but that was not the point you initially made, which was that Russia are only currently making frigates, and this:

But I think where we differ fundamentally is on the idea that there is a future for Russian carrier aviation.

They don't have to match China nor the US.
They have never stated they would try.
It doesn't mean they won't operate a carrier or two or three, or whatever.
All evidence suggests a reinvestment into shipyards, and a slow but steady growth in the size of naval ships being constructed.
And an interest in keeping the Kuznetsov, and maintaining a fixed shipboard air component.
They built an onshore carrier aviation training facility in Yeysk, and are back at the NITKA carrier aviation training complex in Crimea. Kuznetsovs airwing have done training there since then.

The rest, the future, we can take educated guesses on, based on what is happening in front of us.

I personally think Kuznetsov will be overhauled. As they state.
I think it will continue thereafter for at least another decade, fulfilling a training and key-competency retention role.
After that, is a political decision, but the Russian navy obviously wants to be positioned to step onwards if it is given the green light.
All of which is very sensible.
 
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ceccherini

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I've no doubt the Chinese will build an extensive fleet of carriers. I can't picture the Russians doing the same. Time will tell.

I have no doubt either, but that was not the point you initially made, which was that Russia are only currently making frigates, and this:

But I think where we differ fundamentally is on the idea that there is a future for Russian carrier aviation.

They don't have to match China nor the US.
They have never stated they would.
It doesn't mean they won't operate a carrier or two or three, or whatever.
All evidence suggests a reinvestment into shipyards, and a slow but steady growth in the size of naval ships being constructed.
And an interest in keeping the Kuznetsov, and maintaining a fixed shipboard air component.
They built an onshore carrier aviation training facility in Yeysk, and are back at the NITKA carrier aviation training complex in Crimea. Kuznetsovs airwing have done training there since then.

The rest, the future, we can take educated guesses on, based on what is happening.
No doubt Russians have the technical and economic capabilities to build several carriers even in the Ford class. The point is they do not have anywhere a surface fleet to be deployed around them and that itself is an effort far more expensive and resource intensive that the construction of few very large ships. There are no active programs to build any surface combatant larger than a frigate. I can see one or two midsize STOBAR in a two decade timeframe but nothing more and mainly as a propaganda and prestige tool more than an asset with a defined strategic role.
 

kaiserbill

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No doubt Russians have the technical and economic capabilities to build several carriers even in the Ford class. The point is they do not have anywhere a surface fleet to be deployed around them and that itself is an effort far more expensive and resource intensive that the construction of few very large ships. There are no active programs to build any surface combatant larger than a frigate. I can see one or two midsize STOBAR in a two decade timeframe but nothing more and mainly as a propaganda and prestige tool more than an asset with a defined strategic role.

I would mostly agree.
Russia, as befits the world's largest country, has always been a land-based power, and latterly of course, aviation.
Only under Gorshkov in the old USSR was the navy really ramped up, if one excludes the ever present impressive submarine component.

I do believe, however, that there would be a real life role for a couple of Russian carriers in the future.
We live in a world where resources are finite, where bulk trade and goods movement happens mostly at sea.
There is certainly space for a Russian expeditionary or deterrent force, overseen and protected by a carrier, to protect their interests.
This does not mean large multiple carrier led fleets as the US operates, or presumably where China is headed.
I think the cost/benefit of that makes no sense for Russia.
But 2 midsize carriers, say, probably does make sense for Russia in the future. Yes, for prestige, but also for the potential to influence, and project in a limited fashion. A single carrier escorted by a couple of Gorshkovs, perhaps a cruiser, one of the large Universal Amphibious Assault ships now being constructed, and a SSN as an expeditionary force would be quite achievable in the future, and not break the bank.
In fact, they have nearly all that now, sans the Assault Ships still in construction.

In my humble opinion, it is this very same reasoning why they are busy building the two 40 000t Amphibious flat decks laid down in the first place.
Russia doesn't have as many airbases scattered around the globe as the US does, for example.

A carrier led force doesn't necessarily have to be designed for carrier fleet vs carrier fleet ala the Pacific War in WW2.

So I am mostly in agreement with you.
 
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uk 75

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Every year in the 80s the Reagan Administration started publishing a glossy book called "Soviet Military Power" with rather badly drawn images of Russian weapons derived from satellite photos.
It routinely warned of the impending arrival of a genuine carrier to follow on from the Kievs which were seen as more heavily armed versions of the Brits' Invincibles.
The Chinese and Russian navies are as far away from deploying even a Midway sized carrier with cats, traps and strike aircraft as the Sovs were in the 80s.
To some extent as land powers this is quite understandable. Neither have any experience of modern naval combat on the high seas.
The USN and its key allies have worked together in realistic exercises and in some cases combat for seventy years! Carrier air power with actual carriers has played a key role throughout these years.
China's rulers are keen to acquire the clout that their economic progress over the last 25 years has earnt them. I dont think that a few air capable ships is too much to begrudge them. And the West's over 50 SSNs at sea have to have something to try and sink.
 

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Well, the Kuznetsov was laid down in 1982, and her sister ship in 1985.
The larger catapult equipped follow on design, the 85 000 tonne Ulyanovsk, was ordered in 1986, and laid down in 1988.
So, in fairness, the warnings of an impending proper carrier fleet were correct, as nobody could foretell then that the USSR was going to collapse before completion.

I agree that China's economic rise, coupled with its role as a raw material importer and finished product exporter, all but assures the rise of their navy onto a global stage, which means multiple carriers.
 

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What I find interesting is that the Soviets laid down 2 Kuznetsov carriers.
This was followed by the larger, catapult equipped Ulyanovsk.
So the Kuznetsovs in my mind were, as others have stated above, a very sensible stepping stone that would probably then have been eventually relegated to either training or fleet support roles.

China is mimicking this plan exactly and precisely so far.
2 Kuznetsov types, and now a larger follow on catapult equipped carrier.
I guess it's a sensible way to go about it.
 

uk 75

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One carrier does not a fleet make... (ok the RN and French Navies now make do with only one but they have built more).
I am not sure that it was just the end of the Cold War that killed off Ulyanovsk. The submarine lobby in Russia as in the RN knew how vulnerable carriers were to being disabled.. You dont need to sink a carrier just prevent it flying its airgroup.
 

Josh_TN

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I'm aware Russia is preserving its ability to build and maintain such ships; I posted the dry dock under construction that will handle the refit (I suspect the picture is old and the doc is largely complete now). I however have little faith in a follow on class after Kuznetsov, even a singular replacement. I'm also not going to assume Kuznetsov re-enters service (though clearly that is the intent at the moment) based on the very protracted refit of the cruiser Nakimov. Aircraft carriers seem to very much be a prestige project for Russia compared to much more functional nuclear submarines of several types being built, and as such I'd be surprised if refit of Kuz wasn't the first spending cut should priorities change. As I said, time will tell.
 

uk 75

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From a selfish Western perspective I would quite like the Russians to get Kuznetzov back into service and even build a new class of carrier.
Operating such a ship in international waters gives Russia a sense of self esteem independent of the regime that runs it. Tracking and interacting with the ship and its airgroup is the best training our and other countries' forces can get.
And then who knows one day she may operate with us in a UN or other multilateral ops.
 

ceccherini

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No doubt Russians have the technical and economic capabilities to build several carriers even in the Ford class. The point is they do not have anywhere a surface fleet to be deployed around them and that itself is an effort far more expensive and resource intensive that the construction of few very large ships. There are no active programs to build any surface combatant larger than a frigate. I can see one or two midsize STOBAR in a two decade timeframe but nothing more and mainly as a propaganda and prestige tool more than an asset with a defined strategic role.

I would mostly agree.
Russia, as befits the world's largest country, has always been a land-based power, and latterly of course, aviation.
Only under Gorshkov in the old USSR was the navy really ramped up, if one excludes the ever present impressive submarine component.

I do believe, however, that there would be a real life role for a couple of Russian carriers in the future.
We live in a world where resources are finite, where bulk trade and goods movement happens mostly at sea.
There is certainly space for a Russian expeditionary or deterrent force, overseen and protected by a carrier, to protect their interests.
This does not mean large multiple carrier led fleets as the US operates, or presumably where China is headed.
I think the cost/benefit of that makes no sense for Russia.
But 2 midsize carriers, say, probably does make sense for Russia in the future. Yes, for prestige, but also for the potential to influence, and project in a limited fashion. A single carrier escorted by a couple of Gorshkovs, perhaps a cruiser, one of the large Universal Amphibious Assault ships now being constructed, and a SSN as an expeditionary force would be quite achievable in the future, and not break the bank.
In fact, they have nearly all that now, sans the Assault Ships still in construction.

In my humble opinion, it is this very same reasoning why they are busy building the two 40 000t Amphibious flat decks laid down in the first place.
Russia doesn't have as many airbases scattered around the globe as the US does, for example.

A carrier led force doesn't necessarily have to be designed for carrier fleet vs carrier fleet ala the Pacific War in WW2.

So I am mostly in agreement with you.
A very realistic and reasonable scenario
 

ceccherini

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One carrier does not a fleet make... (ok the RN and French Navies now make do with only one but they have built more).
I am not sure that it was just the end of the Cold War that killed off Ulyanovsk. The submarine lobby in Russia as in the RN knew how vulnerable carriers were to being disabled.. You dont need to sink a carrier just prevent it flying its airgroup.
It really depends on the operational role you assign to the carrier. In the case of the Soviet Navy the carriers would be at the center of a bastion protecting the SSBN that would mean around hefty of cruisers, destroyers, SSN and SSK and in the range of land based aviaton. If a NATO submarine was to reach an attack range for the carrier that would have limited importance for the Soviet because in that case it is problable that most of their fleet would have been destroyed.
 

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