Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Aircraft Carriers of China, India and Japan

Update 26 Jun 2017: China’s new aircraft carrier suggests a powerful navy in the works
Type 001A Aircraft Carrier China
The Type 001A aircraft carrier, launched on April 26, 2017 in Dalian, China, is an improved variant of the Soviet designed Kuznetsov class

After some four years of construction, China has unleashed its first domestically built aircraft carrier. The Type 001A, whose name is speculated to be Shangdong, launched on April 26 at 10:30 a.m. at the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province. It will likely not enter service until 2019 or 2020.

While the 70,000-ton Type 001A is based heavily on the Soviet-designed Liaoning, it features improvements like a modernized island structure with newer AESA radars, and it will carry about 24-30 J-15 fighters (a handful more than the Liaoning) and up to 16 helicopters for search and rescue, airborne early warning, anti-submarine warfare, and transportation missions. Internal improvements could include increased maintenance and storage facilities for fuel and ammunition. Once in service, the Type 001A would both increase the number of carrier qualified pilots, and double its carrier aviation striking power.

Perhaps more than any other warship, China's aircraft carriers are representative of its modernization and upcoming superpower status. The Type 001A almost certainly won't be the last Chinese aircraft carrier; state media has cited naval officers stating that China will ultimately need five more. The Type 002 carrier, currently undergoing modular assembly, will have either electromagnetic or steam-powered catapults; those catapults will allow it to launch heavier fixed wing aircraft, such as J-15 fighters with heavier combat loads, and long range ASW and AEW aircraft to enhance its combat power. The Type 003 will follow in the late 2020s, which will be a nuclear powered 90,000-100,000 super carrier. The Type 003, of which up to four could be built, will be the most powerful non-American aircraft carriers in the world.

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China's first home-grown missile destroyer launched in Shanghai, enhances PLA Navy's combat ability

China's first home-grown 10,000-ton class missile destroyer has been launched in Shanghai on Wednesday morning, marking a step forward for China's development in missile destroyers.

According to the PLA Daily, the new missile destroyer's launching ceremony has been held at 9:00 am Wednesday morning in Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co under the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, and Zhang Youxia, head of the CMC Equipment Development Department, attended the ceremony.

This is China's first home-grown 10,000-ton class missile destroyer with advanced anti-air, anti-missile, anti-vessel and anti-submarine capabilities, and it is completely self-developed by China and it is a symbol of the Chinese navy's strategic transformation, according to the report.

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China's Homemade Aircraft Carrier Becomes Second in Xi's Fleet

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, burnishing President Xi Jinping’s credentials as commander-in-chief ahead of a Communist Party leadership reshuffle this year.

The warship was floated at a shipyard in the northeastern port of Dalian in a ceremony attended by General Fan Changlong, second only to Xi on the Central Military Commission, according to a statement on the Ministry of National Defense’s website. A bottle of champagne was ceremonially smashed on the vessel’s bow before the ship was escorted from dry dock, the ministry said.

The aircraft carrier program lies at the heart of China’s effort to build a “blue water” navy capable of projecting power beyond the country’s coast and protecting increasingly far-flung interests. Xi has made overhauling and modernizing the People’s Liberation Army a centerpiece of his agenda since taking power in 2012.

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Beijing Launches First China-Made Aircraft Carrier Amid North Korean Crisis
China's first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launching ceremony in Dalian, Liaoning province, China, April 26, 2017

China has launched an aircraft carrier, known as Type 001A, local media reported Wednesday. The carrier, measuring 315 meters in length and 75 meters in width, displaces 70,000 tons of water. The ship was constructed at the Dalian Shipyard, a port in northern China’s Liaoning province that happens to share a border the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

China’s other aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, conducted live-fire drills for the first time in November of last year. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has been aggressive in pursuing a larger and more assertive fleet.

The tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen over the recent month in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions. North Korea reportedly carried out the most recent missile launch early on Sunday however it was unsuccessful according to South Korea's defense officials

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China launches first self-built aircraft carrier

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Wednesday morning, according to the state-run media outlet Xinhua news agency.

The aircraft carrier launching ceremony was held at the Dalian shipyard of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, with Fan Changlong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission delivering a speech to mark the occasion, reported Xinhua.

The massive new warship was then lowered into the water and towed to a dock. The original date of the launch had been expected to be April 23, but because "the tide was not suitable" and the water depth was not sufficient, the ceremony was postponed until today.

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China declares its first aircraft carrier ‘ready for war’
CHINA’s first aircraft carrier has this week engaged in public live-fire exercises, flexing its own weapons as well as those of its fully armed combat aircraft

Beijing has declared Liaoning to be ‘fully operational’ and ready for combat after three years of testing, training and evaluation. Now it has set about proving this is so.

State-run news agency Global Times this morning released a statement and pictures showing the vessel demonstrating the use of live weapons.

Liaoning, originally bought from Ukraine in 1998 under the premise of being converted into a floating hotel and casino, marks a major step forward in the international influence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

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China’s aircraft carrier uses real weapons in drill
Fighter jets onboard Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning await a military drill in the Bohai Sea on an undisclosed date in December.Photo: CFP

Chinese Navy Thursday revealed the details of a recent drill involving the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. It was the first time that the weapons used on the carrier were displayed in public since it entered service in 2012.

The drill was conducted in the Bohai Sea, involving dozens of ships and aircraft as well as several air-to-air, air-to-ship and ship-to-air missiles. The J-15 carrier-based fighter jets carrying live ammunition also attended the drill.

Given that dozens of ships were used in this drill, the aircraft carrier was likely to be equipped with submarines, depot ships and fast combat support ships, in addition to guided missile destroyers Shenyang and Shijiazhuang, as well as two guided missile frigates Yantai and Weifang, which had been disclosed by the military, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times.

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China building 2nd aircraft carrier with domestic technology
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test on the sea

China is building its second aircraft carrier, this time entirely with domestic technology, its Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Ministry spokesman Col. Yang Yujun told reporters at a news conference that the 50,000-ton vessel is being built in the northern port of Dalian.

China currently operates one aircraft carrier that was purchased as an incomplete hull from Ukraine more than a decade ago and then armed and equipped in China. That carrier has yet to take on its full aviation complement.

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China commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning
Liaoning Aircraft Carrier

In the most publicized PLA Navy modernization event of 2012, after a year of extensive sea trials, China commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in September 2012. On 25 September 2012, it was reported that the aircraft carrier formerly known as the Varyag had entered operational service, primarily as a training platform with no assigned aircraft, as the Liaoning.

However, official statements said that the vessel would also help China defend its interests. This name was said to be in reference to the province where the ship was refitted and refurbished after being purchased from Ukraine. The PLA Navy successfully conducted its first launch and recovery of the carrier-capable J-15 fighter on November 26, 2012

The ex-Varyag was acquired by China from Ukraine without engines, and must be outfitted with new engines before going out to sea. China lacks indigenous steam turbine or gas turbine engine capabilities, and absent purchase of such engines from foreign sources, the ex-Varyag would have to be equiped with marine diesel engines. Such engines are larger than turbine engines, so the ex-Varyag outfitted with marine diesel engines would be underpowered relative to the original design, and consequently slower than the original design

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First Chinese Aircraft Carrier Revealed
PHOTO: The former Soviet "Varyag" aircraft-carrier

A top Chinese official for the first time revealed that the growing Chinese military will soon launch its first aircraft carrier "An aircraft carrier has been under construction, but has not been completed," China's Defense Minister Chen Bingde told a Hong Kong newspaper Tuesday in a rare admission for the secretive Chinese government

The Pentagon has been long aware of Chinese ambitions to build not just one, but multiple aircraft carriers as part of an effort to modernize its military force, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense said today. The U.S. will "maintain the military capabilities necessary to protect our interests, defend our allies, and deter potential adversaries from acts of aggression and intimidation," the spokesperson said.

The 990 ft., 67,500 ton carrier, long-rumored to be in development, is being constructed in the north-east port of Dalian, the report said. While Chen refused to give a specific date, the vessel is reportedly near completion and tests are expected to start later this year. It took an army of workers five years to transform the Soviet-era hull, which was initially bought by a company with ties to the Chinese army who claimed they were building a floating casino destined for Macau.

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China's first aircraft carrier 'starts sea trials'
Type 001A Aircraft Carrier China
The 300m (990ft) carrier has been one of China's worst-kept secrets, analysts say The Chinese navy's first aircraft carrier has begun its sea trials, the state-run Xinhua news agency has said.

It quoted military sources as saying that the refitted former Soviet warship left its shipyard in the north-east and the trial "would not take a long time".

The move is likely to raise fresh concerns over China's rapid military build-up. Beijing is currently involved in several maritime territorial disputes, particularly in the South China Sea.

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Beijing's aircraft carrier heads for South China Sea

Japan's new helicopter destroyer: DDH183 Izumo

Japan's biggest warship was unveiled on Tuesday, raising grave concerns about the country's military buildup as observers said the vessel is actually an aircraft carrier, banned by Japan's pacifist constitution.

Tokyo's move coincided with Manila's latest efforts to upgrade its military, as the Philippine navy received a second former US coast guard ship. Manila received the first ship in 2011.

Analysts see the upgraded warships in Japan and the Philippines as efforts to gain an upper hand in maritime disputes with China, as well as a catalyst igniting an arms race that would escalate regional tensions.

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Japan formally unveiled to the public the first of its 22DDH Class helicopter escort

On August 6th, 1945, an atomic bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima. On 06 August 2013, 68 years later to the day, Japan formally unveiled to the public the first of its 22DDH Class helicopter escort, the Izumo, which is larger than any of the aircraft carriers that Japan employed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The 22DDH Class helicopter destroyer is Japan's first aircraft carrier since the Great Pacific War. The designation 22DDH is short for helicopter destroyer project, Heisei Year 22. Heisei is the name of the reign of the current emperor. Each emperor's reign is named, i.e. Meiji, Showa, etc. Heisei 22 is the 22nd year of rule by Emperor Akihito. The 22 does not reference the displacement, and in any event Asian navies always disclose empty displacement instead of loaded or full displacement.

On 31 August 2009 it was reported that the JMOD FY2010 budget request included 116.6 billion Yen for a new 22DDH "helicopter destroyer" built to a design signficiantly larger than the 16DDH Hyuuga Class. After Yukio Hatoyama became prime minister in September 2009, new budget requests were submitted in October 2009 -- including 118.1 billion yen for the construction of a helicopter destroyer. The ship would eventually replace the destroyer Shirane, which was scheduled to be decommissioned in fiscal 2014. A request for the helicopter destroyer was first made for the fiscal 2010 budget when the Liberal Democratic Party was in control of government.

It is designed to be a vessel which is conscious of the Chinese Navy, and to support civil disaster relief operation and the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations (PKO). The planned helicopter destroyer will have a length some 25% greater than the 197 meter 16DDH Hyuuga. At 248 meters [813 feet] the 22DDH is comparable to the Italian Cavour of 244 meters [some reports claim 284 meters or 925 feet for the 22DDHH, but this seems to be wrong]. The full-length aircraft carrier type deck extends from the bow to the stern. The light displacement was reported as 19,500 tons, a 44% increase over the 16DDH, while the full loaded displacement is probably comparable to the 27,000 ton displacement of the Italian Cavour.

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Japan Unveils Biggest Warship Since WWII
The new warship is called "Izumo", the largest Jap navy ship since WW2. It is officially launch on the anniversary of Hiroshima bombing. It shares the same name as a WW1 cruiser used by Imperial Japanese Navy to attack China in 1937

Japan has unveiled its biggest warship since the Second World War as part of a plan to bolster its defense of territorial claims in disputed waters.

Japanese authorities revealed the 250-meter-long destroyer Izumo at a ceremony in Yokohama on Tuesday.

The $1.2 billion Japanese-made vessel will be capable of carrying at least nine helicopters when it goes into service in 2015. Tokyo says the warship is designed for use in defense and surveillance of Japanese-claimed waters, such as those around an East China Sea island chain where China also claims sovereignty. The Izumo also is intended to provide assistance to areas affected by natural disasters.

Japan's new warship draws fire

India’s Emerging Blue-Water Navy
India’s Emerging Blue-Water Navy
Delivery of a new aircraft carrier caps a mostly impressive year for the Indian Navy

On November 16, the Indian Navy finally took delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, formerly the Adm. Gorshkov, at Sevmash Shipyard in northern Russia’s Severodvinsk town. The acquisition marks a new phase in India’s quest to become a true blue-water navy

The handover ceremony of the 44,570-tonne carrier is sure to have generated more than a passing interest within the PLA Navy and across the rest of the continent, since India will be the only country in Asia to have two aircraft carriers in its fleet. Admittedly, the 55-year old INS Viraat is “long in the tooth” as India’s Navy Chief Admiral D. K. Joshi himself described it in a recent interview, but it will continue to operate until India’s locally built carrier INS Vikrant becomes operational by 2017.

At the moment, only the U.S. Navy brings that sort of capability to Asia. Although it is coming five years late – the original delivery was scheduled for 2008 – the Vikramaditya will give India the ability to project raw naval power in its “near abroad” as well as in its extended neighborhood. With a capacity to carry two dozen Mig-29 K fighter jets and 10 Kamov helicopters at any given time on board and fitted with the latest sensors and missiles, the brand-new aircraft carrier will boost the Indian Navy’s firepower significantly

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India launches first nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier

India's successively launching of its first nuclear submarine and aircraft carrier shows New Delhi's upgraded naval capability and its ambition to dominate the India Ocean, observers say.

The 37,500-ton aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will enter the water on Monday at Kochi shipyard in southern India, four years after its keel was laid. The Vikrant makes India the fifth country, after the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and France, to design and build a carrier.

The launch came days after India announced on Saturday that its first nuclear submarine, INS Arihant is ready for sea trials, a step before it becomes fully operational.

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India unveils domestic aircraft carrier

India has unveiled its first domestically made aircraft carrier to join a select group of countries that are in possession of such gigantic warships.

The country launched the 37,500-ton INS Vikrant from a shipyard in the southern state of Kerala on Monday.

"It is essential that we retain and sharpen established designing capabilities, ship building technology, know-how and human resources to be able to produce quality and state-of-the-art warships in the years to come," India's Defense Minister AK Antony said at the launching ceremony. He added that the aircraft carrier will help Indian navy to defend itself.

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Vikrant-class Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC)

The Vikrant aircraft carrier was formally launched on 12 August 2013. The Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral R.K. Dhowan held a press briefing on 01 August 2013, as a curtain raiser prior to the launch of the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC)- Project-71.

With it, India will have its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier, allowing it to join the elite group of nations capable of designing and building an aircraft carrier. As of 2005, India had only one aircraft carrier, INS Virat and another aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, rechristened as INS Vikramaditya, was to join the fleet by 2008 [by the end of 2008, this target had slipped to 2012, and then to the end of 2013].

While the Indian government claims that its first home-built carrier, the Vikrant, will be fully operational by 2018, Indian Navy sources say that date is closer to 2020 since the ship was only about 30 percent complete at launch 

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