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China’s Carrier Back in Port

by John Reed on December 30, 2011

And she’s back. That’s China’s aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag, returning to port from her latest sea trial, where she carried out “scientific testing,” as China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, put it.. Since making her initial baby-steps into the ocean last August the ex-Varyag has spent about three weeks at sea, giving the world some great views of her steaming under her own power.

A news release by Xinhua about the ship’s latest sea trial also revealed some very interesting new info about the indigenous technology that China had to develop for the ship, since it the carrier had been stripped of nearly all combat gear by the Ukranian government before it was sold to China. (Remember, we’ve seen the new air defense weapons and radars installed by the Chinese.) Notably, China had to develop it’s own arrestor gear system for the ship:

The spokesman denied a report that Russia refused to sell aircraft carrier arrester wires to China, which delayed the aircraft carrier’s launch. “The report was entirely groundless,” Yang said.

He said China’s armed forces adhere to the principle of independent innovation in the development of weapons and equipment.

“The main equipment for our aircraft carrier, including the arrester wires, were developed and converted on our own,” he said.

The aircraft carrier was originally built by the former Soviet Union. It was not yet complete when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Ukraine disarmed it and removed its engines before selling it to China.

The vessel, measuring 304.5 meters long and 37 meters wide with a displacement of 58,500 metric tons, has been completely refitted for its new role as a research and training platform for China.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

George December 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

“..it’s own arrestor gear system”?

I am waiting for the first video of a fighter skidding off the deck and getting run over by the boat

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tribulationtime December 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

Could she be one atemp too use a "live" target to development anti-carrier tactics? Post moment at his anchores hit bottom :)

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Baron von French December 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

WHAT?!?!?

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AlC December 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

Lots of short trips guarantees maximum press coverage.

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Chops December 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Chinas' forces adhere to the principles of independent innovation in the devolopment of weapons and equiptment. You got to be kidding me-they basically stole this carrier-ie-they signed an agreement with Ukraine that the ship would not be militarized-they steal every bit of tech they can from Russia including cloning their fighter aircraft and trying [unsuccessfull from what i've read ] to clone their jet engines,There are all sorts of stories of China stealing and copying everything they possibly can because they don't have the expertise to design and build it themselves.

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blight December 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm

It's essentially a military vessel up to the point of intent. Any training vessel carrying live weaponry can be used in wartime, after all.

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tiger January 1, 2012 at 4:15 am

You know There are other folks on the planet with brains. Frankly all the US is producing is ball players & future Snooki's these days.

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jhm January 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm

hmmmmm so why rnt u in their crowd?

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Michael December 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I love how this carrier is always referred to as "China’s aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag".

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Prodozul December 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

It doesn't have a proper name yet

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blight December 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

"Chinese CVT", (CVT= carrier, heavier-than-air aviation, trainer.)

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blight December 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm

AVT might be more appropriate, in hindsight.

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Lance December 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm

They found another leak?? LOL :X

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Nick T. December 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Do they have a frigging string on the damn thing or wat?

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PacificSentinel December 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm

When the Australian Carrier (HMAS Melbourne) was decommissioned, she was sold to china as scrap, china spent years studying it before cutting her up, I bet that’s where they worked out how Arrestors work & how to build their own.

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Enrico December 31, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I dunno, I hope that the Australian navy was wise enough to remove them together with any other useful hardware; anyway I've heard that they've studied old arrestor cables left in Ukraine after the break-up of the USSR, it's definitely possible considering what happened with the J-15.

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tiger January 1, 2012 at 5:04 am

I think they have a had 100 years to study arrester gear.

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Chris December 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm

This is the second article I've read here that has used "it's" (the contraction) instead of "its" (the possessive). You seem to have useful information with minor grammatical mistakes.

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Hunter78 December 31, 2011 at 4:46 am

They haven't figured out how to fix the air supply system.

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jeff szabo December 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Don't laugh too hard. They have plenty of US dollars to build their carrier-fleet, plus everything else! Who's paying for it? We are! And then we'll spend more of our money strengthening the Pacific to counter it, since they think that their 'coastal waters' go to the coast of Indonesia. They are also buying up systems from our friends in Europe and Israel. Israel is interesting that way; a supposed great friend that uses the 'hot' technology we give them to profit from it and sell it elsewhere, besides SPYING ON US!

I can't believe our economy, and winning the cold war, now has us buying a majority of commodities from the COMMUNISTS! Why on earth did I serve 1968-70!? This ia a bad dream! And our government and our greedy corporations have sold us down river for their own gains!

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blight December 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

The producers say we are in bed with China to lower costs for you, our dear customers. Everything we did, we did for you.

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Billy January 1, 2012 at 3:17 am

Is the arrestor cable a rope?

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Anthony C January 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I can't wait to see the piece of junk sink like the Titantic.Why do our stupid politicians call China our friend. Look at how many innocent people they have murdered and how many more they have in prison for just wanting to be free.It is an athiest,satan driven government that they have in power.They are no better than the North Korean rulers.

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Daniel January 4, 2012 at 1:00 am

for points

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mhellbourne January 4, 2012 at 4:12 am

Since the China is emerging as one of the world biggest armed forces it is not possible to enhance their military hardwares and technologies. By this endeavor it will simple described and coined as the "Sleeping Giant of the East".

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blight January 4, 2012 at 4:19 am

They were the biggest in terms of manpower a few decades ago. Suggesting that enhancement of military hardware and tech is impossible because of high manpower numbers is partly correct, which is why the modern PLA has been pared down so much from a few decades ago.

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StrumPanzer December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Who knows it is made in china after all!

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Enrico January 3, 2012 at 10:52 am

China has two Kiev class carriers but they don't have arresting cables at all, like the (retired) British Invincible class, the Spanish Juan Carlos I or the Italian Cavour, they were pure VSTOL designs, rather than STOBAR designs; actually the Kiev class lacked a ski-jump as well, the entire bow area was occupied by missile launchers.

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