Photos: China’s Carrier Back at Sea

She’s out to sea again. Yup, China’s first aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag, left the port of Dalian at 11:30 local time today.  Her maiden cruise — if you can even call it that — happened in August when photos surfaced showing her on open water accompanied by numerous tugs. Click through the jump to see the photos of her putting to sea today. We also included some photos from last week showing a Z-8 (bascially a French-designed Super Frelon) helicopter on her flight deck.

Meanwhile, India — Asia’s other carrier-equipped, major-power-in-the-making — is having some minor trouble fielding its 21st Century flattop the INS Vikraant, also known as the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC).

India may still have a leg up on China in this area; it’s been sailing ex-British carriers for decades and will recommission a former Soviet carrier soon, China is going to use the ageing, ex-Varyag to learn carrier ops.

As the name implies, the IAC is India’s effort to design and build a 21st Century carrier — something the Chinese aren’t expected to do for several more years, though there are reports that China has two of its own carriers under construction.



From last week:

Images via China Defense Blog and Alert5.


  • Mastro

    Meanwhile the Philippines has bought a 45 year old cost guard cutter from the US…

  • michael

    Whats the name of the carrier India has bought ?

    • Praetorian

      INS Vikramadity from Russia, Admiral Gorshkov.
      In service right now India has INS Viraat (HMS Centaur class)

  • Sarek

    China, Russia, Brazil, India growing…
    Europe and Japan falling…
    USA stagnant…

    Things are changing…have fear of future, NATO.


      What is intresting, is how after the Vietnam , the Cold War, the first Gulf War, etc the U.S. Europe, Japan, etc are always “failing” and then in a year or two, we are “doing fine”! What gives?! The fact is that the USA, et al are going through changes right now, as is the rest of the world. I have no fear of the future, in fact to quote a President, and this goes for all of us, regardless of where you are from, ” The only thing we have to fear, it fear itself”- Franklin Deleno Roosevelt… nuff said

    • Andrew

      China, Russia, Brazil, India economies are growing
      US and Europe are falling
      So this is the trend of the future

  • Josh

    Yeah, china purchasing an old carrier compared to the U.S.’s near dozen more up to era carriers is something to really fear sarek…

  • tribulationtime

    Well She is a very beatiful way to show China have a strong navy. A) Estrategic: After take Japan, South Korea and Taiwan only, under shore umbrella. B) Tactical: Take time learn how operate so complex weapon in proper form. C) Defense: SSN Seawolf / or Virginia or SSK Soryu class “shadowing” her. How “General Belgano” was done in Falklands war

    • justsaying

      Silly comment. Not surprising it’s from a Bible thumper. “tribulationtime” haha. The Bible is a work of fiction. If it’s not, God is a pretty shitty creator. Starving people everywhere, endless wars, terrorism, etc.

  • David

    Folks, she’s a symbol who is doubling for training (sailers and air ops) and TTP development, not power projection. It’s what follows her that “we” need to focus “our” worry on, but (for the time being) she’s what needs to be watched, to learn what direction the PRC is headed and how long it will take to get there.

  • wacky1

    After studying the pictures I couldn’t locate the bullseye on it—anyone see it?

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Morning Folks,

    A tour around Dalian Harbor, how nice, but where are the aircraft?

    An aircraft carrier with out aircraft is rather useless, wouldn’t you agree?

    Now for the really big, big question, can the yet to be named 60,000 gross. ton PLAN aircraft carrier, with it’s Diesel/Steam Turbine Hy-Brid propulsion system go fast enough into a 20 Knot. head wind to launch and recover a 54,000 lb. TO/Weight J-15?


    Byron Skinner

    • David

      See my earlier post.

    • cozine

      if steam turbines can push USS kitty hawk to 33knots, steam turbines can push this girl to 32 knots. No diesels in there BTW.

      How do you think the Russians flew Su-33 off the Kuznetsov?

    • Chuck

      We fly our aircraft off the carrier before we go into port. Don’t expect to see many aircarf on the ship while in port.

  • Lance

    Don’t know why this is a BIG deal a new ship gets alot of sea trails before deployment in any Navy. The ship lacks aircraft currently so I find it laughable they have all to do with there ship and lack planes currently for it.

    • So?

      How do you eat an elephant?

      • Lance

        Easy shoot it and skin it.

        • So?

          “One piece at a time.”

  • jhm

    this is the Chinese aircraft carrier, the symbol of China’s prestige to the world. now it sets sail with China’s glory.

    … wit a single copter…

  • blight

    The spectrum of opinion runs between the natural chest pounding “Oh, we can overmatch that” to the “Oh noes, it’s Japan redux”. The self-defense argument is pretty convincing but the last nation-state war explicitly started for natural resources to be allocated to the state was Gulf War One. It’s easy to make the argument that Libya and GW2 were over “oil”, but that was more about re-integrating countries back into the oil market system, rather than a naked natural resource grab.

  • parkchunghee2011

    They can get all the second hand carriers they want, but NOBODY can compete with the United States Navy/aircraft carriers/naval aviation.

    iN a perfect world, that carrier should have two missions, one to destroy Pakistan (everybody there - they are just a bunch of radical moslem’s anyway) and the other to nuke Kim Jung Il (He is the bad guy here. The people themselves will be relieved that he is gone)

    On second thought, perhaps there should be third Chinese mission: nuke Detroit - the national crime rate would drop at least ten percent.

  • Navbm7

    I’m actually more interested in India’s IAC. Anybody have any info on it?

  • Andrew

    Thailand also has a carrier the HTMS Chakri Naruebet a V/STOL carrier built in spain

  • Roy Smith

    Please,China is our friend. We NEED each other. They send us money,they send us checks. Where would Walmart be without toxic products from China to poison us to death. We need their faulty tires to explode on the roads & cause yet another traffic death. Look how much our defense needs their counterfeit circuits & chips. Where would we be without their toxic poisonous toothpaste,pet food,lead painted toys to kill our children & pets. This is just some silly attempt to start another cold war & have us buy more weapons from the dreaded “Military-industrial Complex.” C’mon man,can’t we all just all get along,sing kumbaya,& proclaim peace & safety on earth? We luv China.

    And don’t get me started on how far superior our weapons are over their’s………….

    • Mastro

      The US shouldn’t worry about one CV- but we should monitor it.

      I do think we should make some calls to the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore- lay some groundwork there.

      It looks like we are doing exactly that.

  • NeoConVet

    Looks like a still floating TARGET. What will they have for escort?