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Second Chinese Carrier


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Beggars can't be choosers. They went with what was available and then made a second copy to rectify what could be rectified but are trying to solve a problem that is unsolvable, the Kuznetsov class was designed to operate within a Soviet fleet that relied on missiles for its offensive punch and used fixed wing aircraft as interceptors only (which is what the Su-27 was intended to be only).

 

Trying to build a multipurpose carrier out of that is complicated because the shoe will always be tight. Building a completely new naval aviation infrastructure as they are doing now it's neither easy nor cheap.

 

Thats a pretty good observation. I think you certainly have a point here.

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F14D had swing wings, so had a good approach speed. You have to wonder what one of these is going to be like in a light breeze when its coming back aboard heavily loaded.

 

Su-33's approach speed is about same as F/A-18's, I don't think it's much of a problem. Takeoffs in heavy loads might be more serious limitation, especially in warm climates. Also affects sortie rate as you're forced to use back launch station for longer takeoff run.

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What would be the point? Also, is J-15 rated for a cat launch? But yes The biggest issue with the Flanker family as a embarked a/c are size and weight. I think they can take full fuel load and carry useful weapons from the back launch position but I think the two forward positions require significantly less fuel. The size of the aircraft will limit the numbers and the use of the back launch point limits sortie rate, as well as blocking the landing cycle.

 

ETA: given the small number of aircraft carried, it seems likely only 2-4 a/c would ever be launched as a CAP at any given time anyway.

Edited by Josh
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What would be the point? Also, is J-15 rated for a cat launch? But yes The biggest issue with the Flanker family as a embarked a/c are size and weight. I think they can take full fuel load and carry useful weapons from the back launch position but I think the two forward positions require significantly less fuel. The size of the aircraft will limit the numbers and the use of the back launch point limits sortie rate, as well as blocking the landing cycle.

 

Because its fun? :)

 

I was just thinking with a ramp you wouldnt need a catapult with the power you would need say, as on a US supercarrier. Wholly irrelevant, but I just struck me as technically interesting.

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What would be the point? Also, is J-15 rated for a cat launch? But yes The biggest issue with the Flanker family as a embarked a/c are size and weight. I think they can take full fuel load and carry useful weapons from the back launch position but I think the two forward positions require significantly less fuel. The size of the aircraft will limit the numbers and the use of the back launch point limits sortie rate, as well as blocking the landing cycle.

 

Because its fun? :)

 

I was just thinking with a ramp you wouldnt need a catapult with the power you would need say, as on a US supercarrier. Wholly irrelevant, but I just struck me as technically interesting.

 

Yes, you would need less strengthening of the airframe in that case.

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Yeah, the lack of a cat must be a real restriction for a non STOVL type.

 

An idle thought, I wonder if it would be viable to have a catapult AND a ski ramp?

 

Unfinished Soviet carrier Ulyanovsk would have had both ski jump and catapults: however latter only for Yak-44 AEW aircraft. Su-33's would have operated STOBAR as in Kuznetsov.

 

640px-%D0%9F%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%

 

In theory I suppose it would be possible to have a weaker version of catapult to support STOBAR operations. However, building steam catapult into the ship is such a hassle that for the trouble you might just as well go full monty CTOL and not bother with limitations of ski jump operations at all. With EM catapults it might be slightly more practical.

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What would be the point? Also, is J-15 rated for a cat launch? But yes The biggest issue with the Flanker family as a embarked a/c are size and weight. I think they can take full fuel load and carry useful weapons from the back launch position but I think the two forward positions require significantly less fuel. The size of the aircraft will limit the numbers and the use of the back launch point limits sortie rate, as well as blocking the landing cycle.

I suppose Flanker could be modified to bridle style launch (steel cables) with relatively little work. Modern shuttle style launch would require considerable modifications, might not be practical at all.

 

Su-33 has large folding part in wing, so it actually doesn't take much space in that dimension (less than MiG-29K for example). Obviously length of the aircraft is still a complication.

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The PLAN is going full cat on Cv3, so the rumor goes. I suspect they will use the first two for experience and their third will be more of an operational CV with equivalent aircraft- something cat launched, probably still J-15.

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It's same plan as India, STOBAR is easier and cheaper to start with and once you already have one that type of carrier, you might just as well build another for commonality and expanding the knowledge base and then you move to bigger and better carrier. Russia's problem is that with just 1 carrier which is often out of operations, personnel has nothing to do meanwhile and you can't plan operations or presence around it much.

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Yeah, the lack of a cat must be a real restriction for a non STOVL type.

 

An idle thought, I wonder if it would be viable to have a catapult AND a ski ramp?

 

Unfinished Soviet carrier Ulyanovsk would have had both ski jump and catapults: however latter only for Yak-44 AEW aircraft. Su-33's would have operated STOBAR as in Kuznetsov.

 

640px-%D0%9F%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%

 

In theory I suppose it would be possible to have a weaker version of catapult to support STOBAR operations. However, building steam catapult into the ship is such a hassle that for the trouble you might just as well go full monty CTOL and not bother with limitations of ski jump operations at all. With EM catapults it might be slightly more practical.

 

 

I idly wonder if there is any more point to it with drones?

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Well it does, but only IF it still finds a role with combating US exceptionalism wherever it finds it. You only have to look at what happened in 1962 when it thumbed the nose of the US on its own doorstep. They didnt have the naval structure to call their bluff.

 

Is it worth the money to underwrite that kind of foreign policy? From my perspective, no. But then Putin and most of the Russian General staff clearly dont view the world from my kind of perspective. If they envisage out of area operations like Syria as typical for the future (even the limited operation in Sudan) then they probably want their own portable airfield to backstop it.

 

Even for matters of prestige, a big chunk of steel you can sail anywhere around the world with its own airwing has something to commend it. And the Kremlin as ever is still wedded to its own prestige. I can think of no other reason than the doomsday missiles its embarking on.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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That would require a degree of political cooperation between Russia and China that I do not detect yet has happened. it may come to pass of course. I think Russia needs China an awful lot more than the reverse however.

 

The navies on both sides train together quite often. They don't have to be aligned 100% of the time but they each know that they can use cooperation with each other as leverage in diplomatic or geopolitical areas. And cooperation in the naval area doesn't have to be hindered by areas they may compete with each other more often.

 

Russia still has some assets that will play into top level geopolticals such as huge energy reserves, huge nuclear arsenal, UNSC seat, and so on.

Edited by JasonJ
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Oh sure, they train together. I remember reading about a Chinese warship on maneuvers in the Mediterranean. I just dont detect, at this moment, a political willingness to cooperate in foreign policy which will make it more formalized. From Russia's perspective, China is as much a potential geopolitical competitor as the US. Probably more so in that it shares a border with it.

 

That might change, certainly, but from my perspective only when Putin has gone.

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Oh sure, they train together. I remember reading about a Chinese warship on maneuvers in the Mediterranean. I just dont detect, at this moment, a political willingness to cooperate in foreign policy which will make it more formalized. From Russia's perspective, China is as much a potential geopolitical competitor as the US. Probably more so in that it shares a border with it.

 

That might change, certainly, but from my perspective only when Putin has gone.

 

Maybe so, although I don't think the level of cooperation needs to be formalized in such a way for for both sides having carriers in position to result in a factor that has to be taken into the calculus of US, etc, defense and strategy thinking. Just my 2 cents on that one.

 

To just add on the previous thought, one other thing Russia has that adds to mutual benefits for a Russia-China relationship is the direct and wide access to the arctic.

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Oh sure, they train together. I remember reading about a Chinese warship on maneuvers in the Mediterranean. I just dont detect, at this moment, a political willingness to cooperate in foreign policy which will make it more formalized. From Russia's perspective, China is as much a potential geopolitical competitor as the US. Probably more so in that it shares a border with it.

 

That might change, certainly, but from my perspective only when Putin has gone.

 

Maybe so, although I don't think the level of cooperation needs to be formalized in such a way for for both sides having carriers in position to result in a factor that has to be taken into the calculus of US, etc, defense and strategy thinking. Just my 2 cents on that one.

 

To just add on the previous thought, one other thing Russia has that adds to mutual benefits for a Russia-China relationship is the direct and wide access to the arctic.

 

 

Yes, absolutely. Although whether its going to want to share that access is another matter. I could see it would be strategically useful to Russia to do so to get the Europeans on the back foot. You then have to ask whether the ability to do that is useful to China, and even if it was, is it in Russia's advantage to see China as a long term fixture in the arctic, when its put so much money into trying to keep competitors out?

 

I dont know, but these are all interesting thoughts to be having. As I say, I dont see anything happening with Putin in harness, but he isnt going to last forever.

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Well it does, but only IF it still finds a role with combating US exceptionalism wherever it finds it. You only have to look at what happened in 1962 when it thumbed the nose of the US on its own doorstep. They didnt have the naval structure to call their bluff.

 

Is it worth the money to underwrite that kind of foreign policy? From my perspective, no. But then Putin and most of the Russian General staff clearly dont view the world from my kind of perspective. If they envisage out of area operations like Syria as typical for the future (even the limited operation in Sudan) then they probably want their own portable airfield to backstop it.

 

Even for matters of prestige, a big chunk of steel you can sail anywhere around the world with its own airwing has something to commend it. And the Kremlin as ever is still wedded to its own prestige. I can think of no other reason than the doomsday missiles its embarking on.

 

For better or worse, prestige has historically been a naval mission, particular for major powers in their dealings with others. The nomenclature imposed upon the Japanese Navy for the better part of the last century was based on a recognition of this.

 

Whether it will hold for the better part of this century remains to be seen.

 

As I say, I dont see anything happening with Putin in harness, but he isnt going to last forever.

 

Russia can be stubborn in its rugged political individualism in that way, as Abe's 26 meetings for little tangible result with him have shown, unfortunately.

Edited by Nobu
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