Thursday, December 23, 2010

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XXXIII

What is Mandarin for "BOLTER"?

I told you ... I told you .... you all
owe me beer.
China may be ready to launch its first aircraft carrier in 2011, Chinese military and political sources said on Thursday, a year ahead of U.S. military analysts' expectations.

Analysts expect China to use its first operational aircraft carrier to ensure the security of its oil supply route through the Indian Ocean and near the disputed Spratly Islands, but full capability is still some years away.

"The period around July 1 next year to celebrate the (Chinese Communist) Party's birthday is one window (for launch)," one source with ties to the leadership told Reuters, requesting anonymity because the carrier programme is one of China's most closely guarded secrets.

The Defense Ministry spokesman's office declined to comment.

The possible launch next year of the ex-Soviet aircraft carrier 'Varyag' for training, and testing technology, will be one step toward building an operating aircraft carrier group, analysts said.

The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimates the Varyag will be launched as a training platform by 2012, and China will have an operational domestically built carrier after 2015.
I snickered when I read this as it is another, "Duh."

People thought I was paranoid when I said that would be a casino about the same time I become a Marine - but remember, you aren't being paranoid if people are actually out to get you.
A Chinese firm bought the then-engineless Varyag from Ukraine in 1998 for $20 million, planning to convert it to a floating casino in Macau, but the Chinese military then bought the vessel.
The learning curve is steep - but the Chinese have plenty of their blood and our treasure to spend on it.

2030 will be interesting.


Anonymous said...

even if they COULD keep it at sea, how would they protect it??

ewok40k said...

no Kido Butai yet, but by 2042... quite possible
but in Washington DC time horizon is the next election at best...

CDR Salamander said...

You really need to start thinking long term; they are.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Well they have been buying and modifying Sovremenny class DDG's that the Soviets use to have as thier close range escorts and air defense. Most intel services agree that the Sovremenny is equivalent to the Kidd class DDG's or Type 42 DDG's but outranges both of them by having the SS-N-22 missiles.
Then they have the Type 052C class DDG's which carries the C-602 anti-shipping missile (again something that out ranges the Harpoon) and the HQ-9 as an Air-Defense Missile (something equivalent to the S-300/SA-10 missile). All on a LO hull with a ChiCom copy of a Phased Array radar, and would probably be the equal to a Burke Flight I, but already having the hangar space built in to carry a pair of Dauphin style ASW helos.
Then there are a few more that are coming down the pipe which could be equivalent to the Tico class CG's
They are building the fleet to go with their carriers. The question would be where are they looking to project power to and what regions are they looking to influence

Southern Air Pirate said...

逃亡者,逃亡者,逃亡者! = Bolter, Bolter, Bolter现在裝配護攔!  = Now Rig the Barricade

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Geez, Guest.

That same kind of willful blindness got us into messes before.

"They'll (China) never be able to figure out how to build one!"  So they bought one and reverse engineered it. Then bought another, and will refurbish and commission it.  Then they are building one.

"They'll never figure out how to run CATOBAR operations!"  So they laid out a carrier deck on the ground and are running steam catapults and arresting gear. 

"They'll never figure out how to design a jet aircraft suitable for carrier operations!"  So they reverse engineered the SU-33 and are re-designing the J-10. 

"They'll never figure out how to protect them!"  So they are re-equipping their DD/DDGs to do just that. 

Yet, when they are one day able to project naval power in a similar fashion (and perhaps greater strength) as we do, it will somehow come as a surprise. 

But hey, that's okay.  Diversity, Gay Rights, Optimal Manning, HA/DR.  Priorities for the US Navy.

Vigilis said...

Name any U.S. treaty that prevents Mexico from inviting a Chinese carrier to pay a port visit for "humanitarian" purposes.

Did I hear that elements of the Obama administration consider the constitutional system of approving treaties archaic, and replaceable by executive orders?

It is that we can wait for time to tell, or is there no longer sufficient time to react. Think long term, indeed.

Skippy-san said...

At least Chinese pilots probably won't whine when they get a No Grade!

Mike M. said...

2030?  Try 2020 - at the latest.  The Chinese are in a position to learn from our example.  All they really need is practice, and they are working hard on that.

China isn't like the Soviet Union.  They need sea trade to keep going as much as we do...which means they are likely to keep plugging away at CV operations until they are proficient.

ewok40k said...

2015 - first carrier reaches full operational capability
2020 - second carrier joins
2020+ they start to churn out carriers every 3 years
2041  they reach carrier parity with US at 9 carriers each
2042 - Midway 2.0?

Eric Palmer said...

How did all this happen? We stopped doing the right thing. The right thing is to ALWAYS contain communism. Period. Dot.

James said...

The problem with that is that China isnt so much communist as state socialist. And China has never given a damn about anyone else. Not that their is much of a difference between communism or socialism.

China hasnt been infected with the form of super liberalism that is trying to unman the western world. Neither has anyone else.

Maybe the Japanese will see this as the slap in the face they need and start up a super carrier program.

Skippy-san said...

Source please.

Steeljaw said...

Careful -- beware the mirror and watch how they intend to conduct operations and place it in a total force context, not just CVBG vs CVBG.
w/r, SJS

Vigilis said...

Sure Skippy...  e.g. The Free Republic
<span>Obama Places U.S. Under UN's LOST Treaty with Executive Order for "National Council Of Oceans"</span>
<span>July 30, 2010</span>