China seriously engaged in the development of naval aviation
China in the foreseeable future wants to be armed with four aircraft carriers, including passing tests saturated «Liaoning». These ships will not be atomic, and in their construction is planned to use the experience of intense alteration and completion acquired in 1998 from Ukraine, «Varyag». But in the long term by number of aircraft carriers in the fleet of China seems to be second only to the U.S., has 10 ships of such class and planned to see their number to 11 units.
The fact that in the near term, China’s armed with four aircraft carriers will stand in the middle of January 2014, said secretary of the Communist Party of China Wang Min. According to him, the construction of the second in line carrier (the first was the «Liaoning» last «Varyag») will begin in the most recent times. With all of this before the Chinese authorities announced their intention to be commissioned very little has two aircraft carriers by 2015-2016. These terms may be disrupted, but the direction of the development of Beijing outlined quite clearly.
By type of «Varyag»
When designing and building new aircraft carriers will consider the experience of completion and alteration of an aircraft carrier «Varyag» Project 1143.6 «Merlin.» This ship was brought to the brain at a shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning Province. Until 1990, the aircraft carrier, now owned by China, was named «Riga». It was founded December 6, 1985. Nicholas engaged in the construction of the ship Black Sea Shipyard. In 1988, the Russian aircraft carrier was launched after the completion of his continued. Two years after the construction of renaming «Varyag» stopped due to lack of funding, and in 1993 between Russia and Ukraine has been awarded a contract by which «Varyag» went to Ukraine. At that time, the willingness of an aircraft carrier was, according to various estimates, from 67 to 76 percent.
It was assumed that with a displacement of 59.5 thousand tons, length of 304.5 meters, width of 38 meters and a draft of 10.5 meters ship will be able to reach a speed of 29 knots. Range «Varyag» should have been up to eight thousand miles. According to the project it was planned to put six six-barreled gun mounts AK-630M, 12 launchers (PU) anti-ship missiles «Granit», four PU air defense missile system «Dagger», eight anti-aircraft artillery systems «Dirk» and two sets of torpedo protection «Boa».
In the air group «Varyag» had to go to 26 carrier-based fighters MiG-29K and Su-33 helicopters Ka-27 and Ka-29 and Ka-31. Our homeland meant buy Ukrainian aircraft carrier, build it and to include in the Navy, but in 1994 it was decided to refuse from the completion of «Varyag».
In 1998, the Ukrainian government sold the unfinished ship Chinese company Chong Lot Travel Agency, registered in Macau. The deal amounted to about 20 million bucks. Interestingly, the company when purchasing said it wants to convert «Varyag» into a floating casino. According to unconfirmed reports, together with the Chinese side of the ship was assigned to the entire project documentation. Towing aircraft carrier in China took 627 days.
In 2002, «Varyag» towed to a shipyard in Dalian shipyard. Noteworthy that the ship laid in Ukraine for Russian Navy, was located on the shipyard in Chinese city, founded by the Russian navigators in 1898. In 2008, «Varyag» given the name «Shi Lang» in honor of the commander of the Manchu fleet. Shi Lan, born in 1621, died in 1696-m. During his own life, he became famous conquest of the kingdom of Yanping (now Taiwan). But two years later, the ship received a new name — «Liaoning».
Displacement Chinese aircraft carrier is 53 thousand tons with a length 304.5 meters and width of 75 meters. The ship is capable of speeds up to 32 knots, and the autonomy of his voyage — 45 days. «Liaoning» armed with 3 anti-aircraft artillery systems Type 1030, 3-SAM systems HQ-10 and 2 vertical launchers of anti-missiles. In the air group «Liaoning» includes carrier-based fighter J-15 and Z-8 helicopters. By the way, it is believed that combat aircraft, mass production started in December last year, China also needs to Ukraine.
Presumably J-15 is a modified copy of the Russian carrier-based fighter Su-33. In 2005, China acquired from Ukraine layout Su-33 — T-10K-3, which Chinese engineers borrowed glider and folding wing technology. First flight of a fighter J-15 took place in August 2009. In December 2012, the Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yanshen PRC stated that J-15 — independent development. With all this Chinese media later spread the information that carrier-based fighter is created on the basis of J-11B, which is a modified copy of the Russian Su-27, and differs from the «source» tselnopovorotnym front canards and a set of on-board equipment.
J-15 built under the scheme integral triplane. Technical details are unknown until the plane. Su-33, which served as the basis for the creation of the Chinese aircraft, capable of speeds up to 2.3 thousand kilometers per hour and fly a distance of up to 3 thousand kilometers. Fighter armed with 30-millimeter cannon and has 12 points of the suspension arms for a total weight of up to 6.5 tons.
But back to the «Liaoning». For this ship at the present time in China is developing aircraft carrier-based distant early warning and control. Flying radar is developed on the basis of military transport Xian Y-7, a modified copy of the Russian An-24. In general, some experts reported that in fact «Liaoning» Y-7 is likely to be based not — the plane is heavy and need to take off his catapult. It may be installed at a later version of the Chinese aircraft carriers.
The main objective of «Liaoning» as part of the Chinese Navy proclaims training of pilots and deck aircraft crew training. Should the underlying project at completion and modernization of the ship changed slightly, the aircraft carrier will be required to serve up to 1980 people, including 520 officers. But consist of the Chinese Navy «Liaoning» During a certain time would be without the basic elements — air group, as she is not ready. At present, China’s air group formation is useful not only to produce sufficient number of aircraft (plus swap in store, based on the land airport), and prepare pilots, technicians and staff.
In late 2013 — early 2014, Chinese aircraft carrier «Liaoning» graduated from regular driving tests in the South China Sea and returned to the port of Qingdao. Performed more than 100 training tasks. The objectives of the tests came verification combat and running properties of the ship. Namely, it was worked out interaction with aircraft, ships and submarines. «Liaoning» went to the tests in the South China Sea, 26 November 2013. Out to sea, which lasted 37 days, was the first long voyage of the ship. It is interesting that on 5 December during trials incident to the role of «Liaoning» and South American missile cruiser «Cowpens.» Reported that the South American ship almost collided with the aircraft carrier.
Meanwhile, in August 2010, China is building a 2-ground-based pilot training carrier-based aircraft in the provinces of Liaoning and Shaanxi. These complexes in size and external appearance similar to Ukrainian thread (ground test simulator naval aviation), located at the airport in Saki Crimea. In general, Ukraine role in the development of Chinese training complexes has not been confirmed, nor denied. But in 2013 the Ukrainian authorities not once declared that after the withdrawal of Russian military Crimean filament can be rented out to other countries, including India and China.
Consider foreign experience
China recognized that it will not convert «Varyag» into a floating casino, only in 2011, when he was already heavily was mounted weapons and avionics. After that, the Chinese government has made no secret that the new carrier must be the beginning of a series of such class ships. According to unofficial data, the project is developing its own aircraft carrier in China over the past 20 years. To accelerate this process, Beijing acquired several ships such class, retired from the Navy some states. Referred to a greater extent on Russian aircraft carrier.
In 1994, China bought the Australian aircraft carrier «Melbourne». In 1995, South Korea has caught in a heavy Russian aircraft carrier «Minsk» Project 1143 for scrapping, but in 1996 the ship resold Chinese company Shenzhen Minsk Aircraft Carrier Industry. In 1993, the PRC government has bought from Russian aircraft carrier «Kiev» of «Merlin.» Currently, «Kiev» Tianjin is located in the town and is used as directed by a certain theme park and «Minsk» — As a museum in Shenzhen. 2011, the first Chinese businessman Lam Kin Bong, who lives in England, took part in the auction for the decommissioned aircraft carrier English «Invincible.» He planned to tow the ship to Guangdong and reincarnate it into an international school. Auction won Turkish company engaged in recycling of ships.
As expected, the Chinese programm building their own aircraft carriers will be implemented in two steps. It seems that in January this year, the Chinese Party member Wang Min read specifically about the first, involves the construction of up to four aircraft carriers. Based on 2-of them by 2020, will be formed aircraft carrier groups, and later completed the formation of 2-still. These ships will have gas turbine propulsion. Displacement, according to various sources, will be 50-55 thousand tons.
Chinese carriers will be the first step to treat the type of so-called STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery, short takeoff and landing on the arrester), in which the ship does not have a catapult, but resettled springboard and aerobatsplanes. Construction of these carriers in Dalian is a logical decision of the authorities, as the shipyard engaged in the completion of the acquired «Varyag», perfectly familiar with the features of such type of ships. For the construction of one hundred percent Chinese aircraft carrier will take about 6 years.
Noteworthy that earlier shipbuilding and Dalian Shipyard Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard built several sections promising carrier. Will they be used for the construction of the ship is unclear. Wang Min told just sections were collected to prove the ability of shipping companies to produce carrier-class ships. Most likely, these sections apply in construction. Even in the midst of 2011 reported that China has started construction of a second aircraft carrier and it Tipo conducted in the shipyard, located on a peninsula in Changxing Yangtze River Delta.
But greater interest is the second step of the Chinese aircraft carrier applets. In 2012, it was noted that the implementation of the second step, China will build two aircraft carriers very little displacement of 65 thousand tons each, and the ships will be equipped with nuclear power plants and catapults. They appear on the arms of China after 2020, most likely closer to the end of the decade. To implement these plans in February last year, the Chinese government has approved the creation of the program from surface ships with nuclear power plant, first aircraft carrier.
Under the approved plan to create programs from compact nuclear reactor last generation. Its creation is conducted under the code 863. New reactors are plans to use on aircraft carriers, strategic submarines, destroyers and cargo ships. February 22, 2013 th National Bureau of Statistics of China announced a statistical summary of economic and social development of the country in 2012. According to this document (Chapter IX «Education, science, technology and culture») within the framework of the project was conducted in 1165 863 different research and development activities in the field of high technology. Other details of the project 863 offices in the report are not, well, the whole of the project, while virtually nothing is unclear.
But thanks to a South American satellite imagery, it became clear that Chinese nuclear aircraft carriers likely to receive electric catapult. So, first in 2014 appeared in the web of the new satellite imagery ground test complex electrical catapult, the construction of which, according to some reports, was launched in 2002. According to preliminary measurements, made on the basis of satellite photos of the complex, the length of the catapult — about 120-150 meters with a length of electrical guides — about 100 meters. Technical details of a brand new device are unknown. Just reported laboratory model of Chinese electric catapult built on a scale of one to one in 2008. Where exactly is situated complex, is not specified.
For operating an electric catapult require special capacitors and energy, which are unable to provide ordinary steam-turbine plant. If the project will be brought catapult China to the brain (and taking into account the persistence of the Chinese in reverse-engineering work and developing their own technologies in the field of armaments and military equipment, this does not have to fluctuate), the country will become the second country in the world, using electric devices for aircraft carriers . Currently, the development of such devices are entitled EMALS USA. American catapult nuclear aircraft carriers will be equipped like «Gerald Ford», the first of which entered service in 2016.
In general, the PRC Navy want to form in its composition over 6 carrier battle groups to be deployed in the South China and East China seas. Their stated goal — a cover of naval forces and support amphibious operations. But the presence of armed nuclear ships extends several abilities similar formations. Namely, ships with nuclear power plant owned virtually unlimited supplies of stroke and cruising only limited abilities of the crew. This means that China will engage in capacity exactly own military presence in the world’s oceans, as opposed to the United States. After all, to fulfill the stated objectives in the Chinese seas, albeit very extended, cheaper and better to still have aircraft carriers with gas-turbine power plants.