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Carrier 002 in a group of PLAN warships headed southward, passing through the Taiwan Strait. In doing so, Taiwan scrambled jets and its navy to monitor the new carrier as it went down. US and Japanese ships also trailed from behind.

 

China has sailed a carrier group into the Taiwan Strait led by its first domestically built aircraft carrier as election campaigning kicked into high gear yesterday in Taiwan.

 

The Ministry of National Defense announced the sailing in the Strait just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party named former premier William Lai (賴清德) as her running mate for the Jan. 11 elections.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said China plans to intervene in the elections, just as Tsai had named her running mate and the campaign shifts into high gear.

 

Voters wont be intimidated! Theyll say NO to China at the ballot box, he tweeted.

 

The Chinese carrier group sailed in a southerly direction through the Strait, trailed by US and Japanese ships, the defense ministry said in a statement, without giving details on exactly when it happened.

 

The government scrambled ships and aircraft to monitor the group, and ensure national security and safeguarding of regional peace and stability, it added.

 

Saying the public needs not worry, as the military is closely monitoring the situation, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday called on Beijing to maintain cross-strait peace, stability and the well-being of the people, which are the common responsibility and goal of both sides of the Strait.

 

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

The still-unnamed carrier was launched last year, but Chinese military experts have told state media that it is not expected to enter service until next year, once it has been fully equipped and armed.

 

A Japan Self Defense Forces spokesman said he had no information about the movement of the Chinese carrier or any Japanese ships nearby.

 

Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2019/11/18/2003726050

 

There are some indications that carrier 002 is going to be home ported in the southern region upon entering service.

Edited by JasonJ
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However, their carrier program appears to have hit a snag.

 

Technical Problems, Slowing Economy Cut Chinas Carrier Ambitions

 

Plans to build more than four aircraft carriers apparently put on hold.

 

By Steven Stashwick

 

December 04, 2019

 

Chinas rapidly developed aircraft carrier program once expected to grow to a fleet of six or more ships in the next decade may now be limited to four hulls by budgetary and technical constraints.

 

The PLA Navy has two aircraft carriers afloat, the Liaoning, a re-fitted ex-Soviet carrier, and an indigenously built evolution of the Liaoning design, the Type 001A that launched in 2018 and currently undergoing sea trials. A third larger, more advanced design, the Type 002, has been under construction since 2017 and a second of that type is planned. The South China Morning Post reports that those two Type 002 carriers will be completed, but that a planned fifth carrier and a future nuclear-powered carrier design have been put on hold.

 

This is a significant contraction of Chinas carrier ambitions. Earlier this year, Chinese naval experts claimed that the PLA Navy would have at least six carrier groups by 2035 and that four of them would be led by nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Chinese President Xi Jinping tasked the PLA to complete modernization by 2035.

 

But internal military sources told the SCMP that engineers were struggling to overcome technical challenges with the Type 002 and also lacked the expertise to translate its experience with nuclear-powered submarines to propel a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier design. "There is no plan to build more aircraft carriers", the source said.

 

If this is true, it appears to have been a rapid change in the PLA Navys strategic direction. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank, procured commercial satellite images earlier this year that show China has added massive new shipbuilding infrastructure to the facilities currently building the Type 002 carrier. A CSIS expert told Reuters that "It is hard to imagine all this is being done for just one ship. This looks more like a specialized space for carriers and or other larger vessels."

 

[...]

 

The spiraling costs of Chinas new fleet highlights the uncertain strategic return on its investment. Aircraft carriers are only as effective as the aircraft that can take off from it, and China faces even greater technical barriers to building advanced, next-generation carrier aircraft than it does making the carriers work for them to take off from. "China may need 10 to 20 years to develop a new generation of carrier-based warplanes, meaning the J-15 is likely to be the main warhorse for some time, despite it still having engine and flight control problems", once source told the SCMP. Without new aircraft, the combat capability of Chinas carrier fleet will remain at a significant disadvantage to the United States.

 

[...]

https://thediplomat.com/2019/12/technical-problems-slowing-economy-cut-chinas-carrier-ambitions/

Edited by BansheeOne
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The guys over here have doubt because of the auther of the scmp artcle.

https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/type-002-cv-18-carrier-news-discussions.t8048/page-312#post-580615

 

At any rate, we won't see the result to determine whether or not a delay has actually been implemented until the 4th is launched. That'll be around 2025.

 

So what might happen is people start saying "they'll stop at 4, so all is ok". Then when 2025/26 comes, watch the 5th start getting made with "oh, we resolved the technical issues".

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Not too trustworthy when they get the designations wrong, sinodefence consensus is:

 

Liaoning: 001

Liaoning clone (apparently to be named Hunan): 002

catapult carrier building: 003

 

There's a lot of new stuff being inducted by the time 003 is effective so it makes sense to stop before building 004 and see what may need fixing.

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I'm sure there are as many people who want the carrier program to fail utterly as those who want to make out the Chinese as being ten feet tall, with lasers on their head.

 

We all need a kewl evil empire after the USSR went down the drain and Russia is not measuring up!

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I'm sure there are as many people who want the carrier program to fail utterly as those who want to make out the Chinese as being ten feet tall, with lasers on their head.

Well, they are 10 feet tall with lasers, panda launching catapults, and bad luck oman fortune cookie fire crackers in comparison to most countries. They could wipe the floor with the German Navy in German waters.

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I'm sure there are as many people who want the carrier program to fail utterly as those who want to make out the Chinese as being ten feet tall, with lasers on their head.

The interesting question would be the ulterior motives behind why such people would want to do so.

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The point about capable carrier planes is well taken though. They have to come up with an effective engine design/production capability for both land based and carrier based aviation. Right now it seems they can't even make copies of older Russian designs yet.

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The point about capable carrier planes is well taken though. They have to come up with an effective engine design/production capability for both land based and carrier based aviation. Right now it seems they can't even make copies of older Russian designs yet.

The jet engines are WS-10 and several 100s of these have been made and are not only used in J-15 but also some J-11 and J-16. Older WS-10A had reliability issues but have not heard of much trouble with newer versions of the engines. The topic of "engine insufficiency" doesn't stem from the WS-10 being used in these aircraft but of the engine being used in the J-20 since the J-20 really needs a more powerful engine, pending on the completion of the WS-15 jet engine. The other area about engine insuffiency is the Y-20 transport aircraft in which its intended new high pass engine, the WS-20, is not yet ready. So while the WS-15 and WS-20 are pending, the WS-10 has been good to go. So I think the artcle just lazyly added in "engine problems" because it fits the "China still can't into engines" conclusion. J-15 issues is structual strength and flight control (during landing aporoach) from what I gather, which are of course major problems.

Edited by JasonJ
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The point about capable carrier planes is well taken though. They have to come up with an effective engine design/production capability for both land based and carrier based aviation. Right now it seems they can't even make copies of older Russian designs yet.

They have been having trouble doing so for quite some time now. The Indians have as well, I believe.

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NM... there still seem to be putting AL-31 on some J-15s.

 

Although there seem to be no indications that any J-11Bs or J-16s production runs have reverted back to AL-31 meaning those are likely all using WS-10 of some sort.

Edited by JasonJ
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Aside from the technical problems, conventionally launched heavy aircraft as the J-15 do have limitations in terms of useful fuel and weapons load when launched from a carrier. It is no wonder that western navies abandoned this system long ago. So far, there have been no pictures of videos of CATOBAR or STOVL PLAN aircraft.

 

CCTV has released footage of J-15s with AG ordnance under their wings whilst parked at an airfield: https://www.janes.com/article/92612/images-show-planaf-j-15s-armed-with-kd-88-and-yj-91-missiles

Edited by Daan
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Aside from the technical problems, conventionally launched heavy aircraft as the J-15 do have limitations in terms of useful fuel and weapons load when launched from a carrier. It is no wonder that western navies abandoned this system long ago. So far, there have been no pictures of videos of CATOBAR or STOVL PLAN aircraft.

 

CCTV has released footage of J-15s with AG ordnance under their wings whilst parked at an airfield: https://www.janes.com/article/92612/images-show-planaf-j-15s-armed-with-kd-88-and-yj-91-missiles

Just not looking back far enough :)

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=39564&page=75&do=findComment&comment=1266520

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So the next one has cats and traps, right? Does anybody have any idea if the Flanker's airframe is strong enough to take that or are they going to have to come up with a new design?

It's kind of hard to tell since its hard to take things for face value. There seems to be efforts to make a new carrier stealth aircraft that would be either based off of the J-20 or the FC-31. At one point it seemed like the J-20 took the lead. But now maybe less indications of that commitment and they might just try to iron out the issues with J-15. Some more on that here. But yeah, the next carrier is supposed to be no ski-jump with cats.

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=43475

Edited by JasonJ
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So the next one has cats and traps, right? Does anybody have any idea if the Flanker's airframe is strong enough to take that or are they going to have to come up with a new design?

The adaptions required to make the Soviet Su-27 ready for carrier operations resulted in a significant increase in its empty weight, from 16,300 to the alleged 18,400 kg of the Su-33 with no compensatory increase in thrust.

 

According to its wiki, the J-15's empty weight is only 17,500 kg. However, given the weight of the Su-33, I doubt this figure is true, if similar efforts were made to strengthen the air frame, beef up the landing gear, allow for a folding wing mechanism, canards and a tail hook apparatus.

Edited by Daan
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So the next one has cats and traps, right? Does anybody have any idea if the Flanker's airframe is strong enough to take that or are they going to have to come up with a new design?

The adaptions required to make the Soviet Su-27 ready for carrier operations resulted in a significant increase in its empty weight, from 16,300 to the alleged 18,400 kg of the Su-33 with no compensatory increase in thrust.

 

According to its wiki, the J-15's empty weight is only 17,500 kg. However, given the weight of the Su-33, I doubt this figure is true, if similar efforts were made to strengthen the air frame, beef up the landing gear, allow for a folding wing mechanism, canards and a tail hook apparatus.

 

They may have used a lot more composites in the redesign to keep the weight down.

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