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Thread: Floating casino still in dry dock

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Floating casino still in dry dock

    Here's a little puzzle. Why has the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) started to exercise an aircraft carrier training formation this year, given that they don't have an aircraft carrier?
    According to the PLA Chief of General Staff Department, the Central Military Commission recently decided to send the PLA Navy North (PLAN) Sea Fleet's helicopter training ship 82 Shichang Hao to the PLAN South Sea Fleet. The 82 Shichang Hao will join missile destroyers 168,169,170,171, which recently entered service, and missile frigates 525 and 526, attack nuclear submarine 093, Songgai conventionally-powered submarine, to temporarily form the first aircraft carrier training formation. The formation will train within a Chinese framework on maritime carrier comprehensive operations before China's new aircraft carrier enters active service. The 82 Shichang Hao will temporarily act the role of an aircraft carrier.

    (International Strategic Studies Association Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis March 9, 2007)
    Does anyone remember the Chinese spending a year persuading the Turks to allow them to drag the "rusting hulk" of the Varyag (a part-completed Admiral Kuznetsov class multirole aircraft carrier) from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and on to China, where "they would moor the ship and convert it into a floating hotel and gambling parlor"? "Construction stopped by 1992 with the ship structurally complete but without electronics. Ownership was transferred to Ukraine as the Soviet Union broke up and the ship was laid up unmaintained, then stripped. In early 1998, she lacked engines, a rudder, and much of her operating systems. She was put up for auction".

    It was quite an adventure to tow the ship but it did get there. The Chinese already had three decommissioned aircraft carriers working as leisure exhibits, this was their fourth. This one's in dry-dock at the moment. "Recent photos in the Dalian Shipyard have shown that a yellow anti-skid primer was added to the flightdeck. Then the final flight deck turf layering was added on top of it. The vessel has also been painted in the standard PLA Naval colours".

    Go on, I hear you say. You need naval combat aircraft to equip a ship like that. They're not on the market.
    Near the end of October [this clipping is from November 2006], Russia's Kommersant newspaper revealed that Russian state-run weapon exporter Rosoboronexport is completing negotiations with China to deliver up to 48 Sukhoi SU-33 (NATO codename: Flanker-D) carrier-capable fighter aircraft in a purchase deal reportedly worth $2.5 billion. The SU-33 is a variant of Sukhoi's SU-27 Flanker with forward canards, foldings wings, an arrester hook, a reinforced structure, and other modifications that help it deal with carrier operations and landings. At present, reports regarding the sale and China's aircraft carrier intentions both remain somewhat murky.

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ssia/index.php
    There's not many aircraft carriers around, worldwide. Twenty or so, of which the US has eleven. The Indians will have three operational fairly soon - did anyone wonder what happened to HMS Hermes after the Falklands War? India bought it together with the Sea Harriers, it's still in active service there. They bought the Baku from the Russians too a couple of years ago, that comes into service next year. Four years from now they'll have a third which they're building themselves.

    Russia and France have one each, the UK's building two big ones to replace the two small ones currently in service.

    So the puzzle is, why would the Chinese be refurbishing just the one (admittedly cheap) hull? I reckon there's a construction yard somewhere in China that's got a couple more keels laid already, they can't expect to control the Western Pacific with just one group.

    Oh - a final twist. The Varyag, if it does get refloated, has a new name, it's the Shilang. So people say. I think they're making that bit up, given the implications of the name (which the inquisitive can find on Wikipedia).
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  2. #2
    Soberano
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Fascinating stuff Spot, i have been reading a book about submariners in the second world war, one mans account from naval reserve to Commanding Officer of H.M submarine Storm. Spell binding stuff.
    I quite often see war ships sailing out to see from my window, something majestic about them, pity they create carnage.

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    Senior Member zinkyusa's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Interesting post, I'm sure they got a bargain. There is no doubt the the Chinese are interested in developing a true blue water Navy. Would that be the Peoples Liberation Army Navy? Certainly even an old rusty carrier would offer the opportunity to study the technology of carrier ops and as the article said there may be some training value. The Chinese are very good at copying and improving on designs. A Chinese carrier task force would certainly have at least a great symbolic value for an emerging power.
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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Quote Originally Posted by zinkyusa View Post
    There is no doubt the the Chinese are interested in developing a true blue water Navy. Would that be the Peoples Liberation Army Navy?
    Yep, that's the name of the outfit we're discussing.

    The article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...111701469.html doesn't quite grasp the point as far as the new capabilities of China's submarine fleet is concerned. Here's the background:
    In September 2006, Rear Admiral Ding Yiping, China's top submarine officer and PLAN Vice Chief of Staff, sent a Song submarine on a mission to hunt an American carrier. On October 27 (October 26, Washington time), the submarine surfaced in waters off Okinawa within torpedo range of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, where it was seen in the Kitty Hawk's wake by an F-18 pilot on landing approach. It then submerged and disappeared, defeating all U.S. anti-submarine warfare (ASW) efforts to detect it. The carrier battle group's ASW systems did not detect the sub because it had apparently waited - submerged, stationary, and silent - for at least one day as the task force approached the area. Beijing's state-controlled media reported that Admiral Ding had personally commanded the entire operation, perhaps even skippering the submarine himself, and predicted that the success of his mission would lead to a promotion.
    Link that with www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2007/02/post_2.php "The Federation of American Scientists says data from the US Navy show that China's entire submarine force conducted only two patrols in 2006, while the navy's single deployed Xia-class ballistic missile submarine made no deterrent patrol at all - a level of activity suggesting an 'almost dormant submarine fleet'." Compare it with what Jane's Navy International wrote in April 2007: "The ease with which the submarine maneuvered undetected into Japanese waters and evaded U.S. and Japan Self Defense Force submarine sensors suggests that China's large submarine fleet engages in far more sea patrols than the U.S. has any hope of tracking".

    One more quote? This is from the International Strategic Studies Association Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis March 9, 2007 which I started the thread with in the first post:
    Since 1995, the PLAN has commissioned about 31 new submarines, including two nuclear-powered submarines based on advanced Russian technology. Eight submarines were commissioned in 2005, and seven were commissioned in 2006, including new Song-class boats and a Yuan-class boat heavily inspired by Russia's Amur-class sub with its anechoic tile coatings and quiet seven-bladed skewed propeller. The reported incorporation of "air-independent propulsion" systems that permit submarines to operate underwater for up to 30 days would make the Song and Yuan submarines virtually undetectable to existing U.S. surveillance networks.
    I reckon the Chinese submarine fleet's about the same size as what the US deploys worldwide at the moment, and I bet it's not particularly interested in going outside of local waters. That provides quite a concentration of deterrence for them in the Western Pacific.

    I hope I'm staying coherent, it's not easy to tell while writing.
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    Senior Member zinkyusa's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Interesting articles and yes you quite coherent. While I agree completely that carriers are becoming more vulnerable as submarines become quieter and are able to carry long range missiles it is important to note this task force was not carrying out any asw ops when the Chinese sub surfaced. That is not to say they necessarily would have detected it if the sub was lying motionless. It is an interesting tactic the Admiral Ping used for sure. Tracking submarines is an involved process involving the use of propositioned undersea detectors, aircraft other submarines and even some overhead assets. I submit that in advanced state of readiness and using all assets to track the sub the good admiral’s challenge would have been more difficult. In the USAF we often used our assets to exercise against the USN and yes we could take a carrier but it was not easy. We were not able to do it using Soviet tactics and doctrine and simulating Soviet capabilities at the time. (Late 1980's) Sorry I got off thread just reminiscing.

    Also, I imagine the patrol estimates were done using imagery not active tracking of the subs (i.e. counting when the subs sortied).
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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Quote Originally Posted by Soberano View Post
    i have been reading a book about submariners in the second world war, one mans account from naval reserve to Commanding Officer of H.M submarine Storm. Spell binding stuff.
    I'm always amazed at how varied a career some people people can concoct. That's the bloke who drew the Penguin Books logo and designed their first covers. How does one get from that to being given a submarine?
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

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    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

  7. #7
    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    Quote Originally Posted by zinkyusa View Post
    Certainly even an old rusty carrier would offer the opportunity to study the technology of carrier ops and as the article said there may be some training value.
    Posters will be delighted to hear that the "Floating Casino" is now out, refitted, on sea trials.

    BBC News - China's first aircraft carrier 'starts sea trials'
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    And, joy of joys, it's been photographed by a commercial satellite...

    BBC News - Picture of China's first refitted warship 'emerges'
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Senior Member Týr's Avatar
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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

    This is a first then - an aircraft just landed on the floating casino.

    Declaring the East China Sea an air defence identification zone last week suddenly makes a lot more sense.

    BBC News - China lands jet on first aircraft carrier
    Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun!

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    Re: Floating casino still in dry dock

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    Airspace row: China internet users call for war against Japan - Indian Express

    China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace.

    Two unarmed US B-52 bombers on a training mission flew over the disputed waters on Monday night EST without informing Beijing while Japan's two biggest airlines also flew through the zone on Wednesday.
    I'm impressed that they fly their casino guests in by jet. lol

    japan has told it's commercial airline not to identify themselves, Australia will but they already do . And America (apparently) wont. Interesting times ahead. Commentators are saying that to identifying yourself to China it gives 'them' administrative authority over the islands.

    China has already had a go at us for condemming the new rule. And now accused of playing favourites . Which of course the threat means political and trade positions lost.

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