Sunday, November 20, 2016
China's Aircraft Carrier Is Not Combat Ready
Popular Mechanics: China Claims Its First Aircraft Carrier Is Now "Combat Ready"
It's almost certainly not.
China's state media reports that the country's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, is now "combat ready." The ship's political commissar says the ship is "preparing for actual combat at any time." Despite the tough talk, all evidence indicates that Beijing's sole flat top is likely a mere training vessel that would do very poorly in actual combat.
Liaoning was commissioned into service with the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012. Originally built for the Soviet Navy, her unfinished hull languished in a Ukrainian shipyard after the end of the Cold War. Purchased by a PLA front company under the guise of housing a casino, the hull was towed back to China where it spent nearly a decade being refitted. The carrier was modernized in a Dalian shipyard to carry 18-20 J-15B strike fighters and up to a dozen helicopters.
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WNU Editor: I concur. It takes years .... and more years .... to know the ins and outs on how to operate an aircraft carrier. And while I do have confidence that with time the Chinese will be very good at this .... that time is not now.