ROFLMAO! What a joke...........
I'm glad someone else picked up on this!
Originally Posted by Gubler, A.
It took Weasel talking about the smoky re-entry. Not that I've seen Transformers 2 but I do remember being bombarded with the advert.
Originally Posted by Deks
Chinese Carrier progress pics...............
Lots more here.........
First Chinese aircraft carrier nears completion
From: The Times November 20, 2010 12:00AM
CHINA'S first aircraft carrier, built on the hull of an abandoned Soviet warship, is nearing completion, according to Western analysts.
The arrival of China as a member of the carrier club would be the most potent symbol of the country's burgeoning military power, even if its first model is based on a rehashed version of a warship that was never finished by its original owners. The Soviet Union collapsed before work could be completed.
The Varyag is expected to make its maiden voyage next year or 2012. "Photos regularly reveal an increasing tempo of work on the Varyag," Richard Fisher, an authority on the Chinese military at the International Assessment and Strategy Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, said yesterday.
"The island (control tower) is being much modified and a new Chinese radar system has been installed. We know little about its engine but it appears work has been proceeding on that as well."
The 300m warship was bought from Ukraine, which had acquired ownership when the Soviet Union was dismantled, and in 1998 it put the ship up for auction. China bought it for $US20 million and it was expected that the vessel would be turned into a casino.
For decades, China had disavowed any ambition to build aircraft carriers, but in more recent years, as the nation's economy has been transformed and Beijing has adopted a more muscular approach on the world stage, military officials have acknowledged the possession of a carrier fleet is crucial for the country's status.
It is likely the Varyag will be used as a training platform. It is believed China is planning to have multiple carriers by 2020.
Beijing is also ramping up production of unmanned aerial vehicles in an apparent bid to catch up with the leaders US and Israel in developing technology that is considered the future of military aviation.
Is China (Finally) Building an Aircraft Carrier?
By Spencer Ackerman December 17, 2010 | 1:59 pm | Categories: China
It’s an article of faith in naval circles that China will inevitably emerge as one of the world’s great maritime powers. But a secret plan by a Chinese government agency suggests that Beijing is taking a major seafaring step forward.
Japan’s Asahi Shimbun cites a report from the State Oceanic Administration saying that China will complete construction of its first aircraft carrier by 2014, something the government never previously admitted. Constructed primarily at Shanghai, the carrier is supposed to displace between 50,000 and 60,000 tons. And it’s part of an even larger effort by the People’s Liberation Army Navy to “build itself up as a maritime power” during the next decade: a nuclear powered carrier is supposed to be completed by 2020. All of that should be taken with a grain of salt, but navy experts generally consider building a carrier to be well within Chinese capabilities.
The U.S. military has little visibility into the plans of its Chinese counterparts. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently urged the creation of a regularized military channel between the two nations to reduce ambiguities. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is heading to China next month for the first in a series of top-level U.S.-Chinese official visits scheduled for 2011.
One measurement of the visitations’ success, from the U.S. perspective, will be for China to be more open about its plans. The State Oceanic Administration, Asahi reports, says that the military decided in secret last year to build up to a “mid-level maritime power” by 2020, able to “counter challenges and threats at sea,” a goal the carriers would certainly support. Elements within the military argued for keeping the carrier-building secret, so as not to spawn a wave of speculation in the region about a Chinese threat.
China got more assertive at sea this year, sending its destroyers, frigates and subs throughout eastern Pacific waters and demonstrating complex missions like mid-air refueling by its naval pilots. The U.S.’s goal is to maintain universal maritime access throughout Asia, something it fears Chinese naval might could restrict.
Naval analyst Raymond Pritchett isn’t so concerned about the first Chinese aircraft carrier, figuring it to be long overdue. Given the health of China’s shipbuilding industry, Pritchett forecasts that over the next five years, “we can expect steady construction of conventional and nuclear submarines, more coastal combat vessels, a large block of maritime patrol vessels, steady construction of frigate sized surface combatants, steady construction of amphibious vessels, and now steady construction of aircraft carriers.”
Matching China ship-for-ship would be a “losing proposition,” Pritchett continues, advising instead to inject “some serious focus onto our larger surface combatant force and finding ways to responsibly add value to our national aircraft carrier, amphibious vessel, and littoral combat ship investments.” And then there’s always the ship-killers.
Photo: China Daily
China speeds plans to launch aircraft carrier: sources
By Benjamin Kang Lim
BEIJING | Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:08am EST
BEIJING (Reuters) - 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.
Andrew Erickson and Andrew Wilson of the U.S. Naval College wrote that it was "conceivable that carrier-relevant research, development, and even production ... could proceed with a rapidity that might surprise Western analysts."
China, which would be the third Asian country to have a carrier after India and Thailand, needs hardware, software and pilot training.
"The acquisition of a carrier doesn't equate to the acquisition of a capability -- the ability to use it effectively -- the latter involving a process that can take decades," said Robert Karniol, a veteran defense analyst based in Canada.
The 300-meter (1,000-foot) Varyag is undergoing refit at a state-run shipyard in northeastern city Dalian, sources said.
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.
Chinese air force pilots have yet to master takeoffs and landings from carriers. They have been undergoing training, but have far fewer flying hours than their U.S. peers.
"They must realize that their learning curve will be costly in terms of blood and treasure," Erickson and Wilson wrote.
"The Varyag will allow us to familiarize ourselves with aircraft carrier tactics of war," one Chinese military source said.
The United States and China's neighbors are nervous about how China could use its growing navy, and speeding up preparations for an aircraft carrier group could add to those jitters.
"Just the prospect of China building aircraft carriers has already made neighbors uneasy," former Taiwan deputy defense minister Lin Chong-Pin said in an interview.
China has refused to rule out the use of force to unify with Taiwan, a self-ruled island over which Beijing claims sovereignty. Tensions between the two sides have eased in recent years.
In March, China announced a 7.5 percent increase in its 2010 military budget to about $78.6 billion. But Washington suspects Chinese spending to be double that figure.
China is seeking to buy ship-borne Su-33 jets from Russia and is working on a variant of its own J-10.
The Varyag will be based in the southern province of Hainan.
(Additional reporting by Sabrina Mao; Editing by Chris Buckley and Daniel Magnowski)
China’s Anti-Ship Missiles Aren’t Effective Yet, U.S. Navy Says
January 04, 2011, 4:51 AM EST
By Tony Capaccio
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- China doesn’t yet have the capability to use its new anti-ship missiles effectively against U.S. aircraft carriers and other warships, according to U.S. Navy analysts.
While the Chinese have deployed an early version of the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile system, U.S. naval intelligence officials downplay the near-term impact, since China’s military hasn’t conducted a full-scale test or established an operational unit for the missiles.
China has a “workable design” for an anti-ship missile but “it is unknown to us and probably the Chinese as to how effective the missile will be without a full-scale test,” the Navy’s Office of Naval Operations for Information Dominance, which includes Navy intelligence, said in a statement yesterday to Bloomberg News.
The statement confirms and adds context to remarks last month by Admiral Robert Willard, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that China has acquired an “initial operational capability.”
Neither the Navy statement nor Willard speculated on when China might have an effective system.
China does have advanced, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles. Ballistic missiles are different in that they descend from space and therefore are harder to defend against.
Chinese advances in military technology are drawing close scrutiny and concern from the Pentagon, particularly when they may jeopardize the dominance of U.S. naval forces in the Pacific region.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a Sept. 16 speech that China’s “investments in anti-ship weaponry and ballistic missiles could threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific -- particularly our forward bases and carrier strike groups.” Gates is scheduled to visit China next week.
Five of the U.S. Navy’s 11 carriers are based in the Pacific and operate freely in international waters near China. Their mission includes defending Taiwan should China seek to exercise by force its claim to the island democracy, which it considers a breakaway province.
Members of the new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives are also likely to scrutinize the missile program’s status as they advocate a more muscular approach toward China, offering a potential boost to defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co., that make sea- based missile defense systems.
Congressional Debate Anticipated
Byron Callan, a defense policy analyst with Capital Alpha Partners LLC, a Washington-based research group, told investors in a Jan. 3 note that news of the missiles’ deployment likely will fuel a congressional debate on defense spending priorities.
The DF-21D missile, with a range of almost 900 miles (1,500 kilometer), would be fired from mobile, land-based launchers and is “specifically designed to defeat U.S. carrier strike groups,” the Office of Naval Intelligence reported last year.
The missiles are intended for launch to a general location where their guidance systems take over and spot carriers for attack with warheads intended to neutralize the ships’ threat by destroying aircraft on decks, launching gear and control towers.
The remarks by Willard and the statement by the Navy on the DF-21D status go further than the Pentagon did in its latest annual report on China’s military, released in August.
The 2010 report included a sketch of the notional flight profile of the new missile. It gave no indication that the missile had reached, or was close to, an initial combat capability.
A senior Pentagon official who briefed reporters on the report August 16 said the U.S. “continued to be concerned” about the missile’s development.
Among the “roadblocks” China faced was “integrating” the missile system with China’s command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance systems, said the official, who spoke at a background briefing on condition of anonymity.
“They still have a ways to go before they manage to get that integrated so that they have an operational and effective system,” the official said.
China is developing an over-the-horizon radar network to spot U.S. ships at great distances from its mainland, and its navy since 2000 has tripled to 36 from 12 the number of vessels carrying anti-ship weapons, Scott Bray, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s senior officer for intelligence on China, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg last year.
The Navy statement yesterday said China now “likely has the space-based intelligence and ground processing necessary to support employment. China operates a wide spectrum of satellites which can provide useful targeting within its maritime region.”
Before launch, the missile also could receive targeting coordinates from non-space intelligence and reconnaissance such as aircraft, drones, fishing boats and over-the-horizon radar, the Navy said.
Unlike traditional radar, which fires radio waves off objects straight ahead, over-the-horizon radar bounces signals off the ionosphere, the uppermost layer of the atmosphere, which can pick up objects at greater distances.
--Editors: Terry Atlas, Leslie Hoffecker.
To contact the reporters on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at email@example.com
China Has Plans For Five Carriers
Jan 5, 2011
By Richard D. Fisher, Jr.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is assembling the production and basing capacity to make its aircraft carrier program one of Asia’s largest military endeavors.
A plausible near-term projection for China’s aircraft carrier ambitions was revealed in two 2009 articles in Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which featured rare access to Chinese military and shipbuilding sources. The sources noted that China would first build two non-nuclear medium-sized carriers similar to the 50,000-ton ex-Soviet/Ukrainian Project 1143.5 carrier Varyag being rebuilt in Dalian Harbor. These carriers would start initial construction in 2009. Beginning in 2020 or soon after, two 60,000-plus-ton nuclear-powered carriers would follow, based on plans for the Soviet-designed but never built Project 1143.7 Ulyanovsk class.
This would mean a likely fleet of five carriers by the 2020s, including Varyag, which entered a phase of accelerated reconstruction in 2009. Work surrounding this carrier is also serving to create the development and production infrastructure for future carriers. Since mid-2005, Varyag’s reconstruction has been documented by images from Chinese military fans on dozens of web pages.
In April 2009, Varyag was moved from its Dalian berth to a nearby drydock. Surrounding the drydock are large ship-component construction hangars, from which the next carriers may emerge. By April 2010, the ship was berthed outside the drydock. Since the move the hull has undergone degaussing, likely in preparation for the now-visible outfitting of a new naval electronics suite. This suite will include four arrays for Chinese-developed naval phased-array radar and new rotating-array radar. Emplacements for the electronic warfare suite are visible.
A “Sinicized” model of a Varyag-like carrier, built in 2003 by students at Harbin Technology Institute, which does carrier development work, indicated it would carry a heavy fixed armament of YJ-63 long-range antiship cruise missiles, vertically launched medium-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and Type 730 30-mm. close-in weapon systems (CIWS). Last November, however, Internet imagery indicated it might carry a lighter weapons suite. It will be the lead platform for the short-range FL-3000N SAM, similar to Raytheon’s SeaRAM, though it carries 24 missiles. The imagery shows that Varyag will carry four FL-3000N launchers and at least two Type-730 30-mm. CIWS.
Varyag’s air wing is becoming visible. Chinese Internet sources reported that the first flight of the Shenyang Aircraft Corp.’s copy of the Sukhoi Su-33 was in August 2009, and by early 2010 Internet imagery and a video confirmed Shenyang had copied the Su-33. Since 2005 Russian sourceshave insisted to this writer that China could not copy the Su-33, as it was a radical modification of the Su-27SK design. By 2009, these sources anticipated China would purchase an upgraded Su-33 as it developed its own version with a Chinese-designed WS-10A turbofan. In 2010, an Asian source said the PLA might not be pleased with its Su-33 copy, and would consider buying the Sukhoi-built version. Since 2005, negotiations have been held up over Russia’s insistence that China buy a profitable number, around 40.
It is now expected that Shenyang will perfect its Su-33 copy, which will feature the latest Chinese-designed active phased-array radar, and new 5th-generation air-to-air missiles and long-range antiship missiles, such as an air-launched version of the YJ-63, with a range of 600-plus km. (373 mi.). Varyag may start its service with a multirole fighter more capable in some respects than the Boeing F/A-18E/F.
In 2010, Internet images appeared of a new airborne early-warning and control radar array of the size needed for a carrier aircraft. This followed a 2005 partial image of a turboprop-powered AEW&C. In October 2009, Internet images emerged of possibly retractable AEW&C radar on a Chinese Z-8 helicopter, which may form part of the initial air wing.
The PLA is also building escort ships for its carrier fleet. In the autumn of 2009 it appeared that two Chinese shipyards were building two new destroyer classes, but their configurations and equipment are not apparent. The PLA is expected to build up to 18 modern Type-065A air-defense frigates. Two new Type-093 nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) have been built, and a more capable Type-095 SSN is expected.
When it enters service around 2015, the Varyag and its sisters, plus escorts, may be located at a recently constructed naval base near Sanya on Hainan Island.
FYJS Internet Photo
Russian sold secrets for China’s first carrier
Ukraine sends him to prison
By Reuben F. Johnson
The Washington Times
8:46 p.m., Monday, February 14, 2011
KIEV | Ukrainian authorities have imposed a six-year prison term on a Russian man convicted of spying for China who was assigned to steal military secrets for Beijing’s program to build and operate aircraft carriers.
The Russian national, Aleksandr Yermakov, was blocked from attempting to transfer to China classified data that would have significantly accelerated the Chinese army‘s effort to field its own operational aircraft carrier, according to reports in the Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya and other news outlets.
China's military announced last year that it had begun construction of its first aircraft carrier, confirming Pentagon and U.S. intelligence reports that Beijing was seeking the power-projection platform that requires highly skilled pilots who can take off and land from the relatively short space of a carrier deck at sea.
U.S. and defense and intelligence officials said China‘s deployment of an aircraft carrier would pose significant problems for U.S. plans to defend democratic Taiwan if the communist mainland were to use force to retake the island, which broke away after China‘s civil war.
“It not only extends the range of Chinese strike aircraft that would take out [Taiwanese] military installations, but it also would complicate U.S. Navy assistance of the [Republic of China‘s] defense if the mainland should attack,” said a naval officer and Chinese carrier program specialist assigned to the Pentagon.
China‘s intelligence service directed Yermakov to steal classified information about Ukraine‘s Land-based Naval Aviation Testing and Training Complex, or NITKA, its Russian acronym, according to reports.
The facility is in the Crimea near the city of Saki and was built when Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union. It remains the only training complex of its kind in the world.
The NITKA base is vital for states that operate one of the Russian-designed carriers equipped with ski-ramp takeoff decks, instead of the flat decks used on U.S. and French aircraft carriers.
The only two ski-jump carriers are the Russian navy‘s Admiral Kuznetsov and its sister ship, the Varyag, acquired by China from Ukraine in 1998 and initially announced in China for use as a floating casino. Russia continues training its pilots in Ukraine while building a similar facility in the Krasnodarsky Krai region of Russia that is expected to be completed in 2012.
Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) took the unusual step of going public regarding Yermakov‘s spying activities on behalf of China and his long-term association with Chinese intelligence. A counterintelligence officer who spoke to news outlets and who was identified only as “Oleg N” stated that Yermakov was assisted by his 35-year-old son.
Yermakov‘s son, also named Aleksandr, registered “an off-shore zoned company that provided services in the sphere of arms deliveries. The profile of the company was the providing a full spectrum of military-technical, testing methods and design information based on the initiatives of received orders,” said the SBU counterintelligence officer.
Arms-trading firms registered in Cyprus often are used as intermediaries for selling weapons and defense technology from Ukraine. These companies then interact on behalf of customer nations with the Ukrainian state-run arms export monopoly, Ukrspetsexport.
Yermakov‘s activities as a source of military and defense industrial information to China lasted about 10 years. During that period, he functioned as a talent scout for a Chinese weapons industry known widely in Western intelligence and security circles for illicit acquisition of defense-related technology in the former Soviet Union.
“At the request of his Beijing comrades, he had identified former military personnel, defense industry specialists from Russia, Ukraine and other nations of the … [former Soviet Union] to travel to [China] to participate in scientific seminars and symposiums, which were organized under the guise of tourist excursions. For each one of these ‘tourists’ Yermakov received up to $1,500,” said the SBU.
China has been recruiting former Soviet military specialists since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Russian and Ukrainian authorities have tolerated the practice.
However, collecting classified and commercially proprietary information on NITKA was strictly illegal espionage, and the payoff for Yermakov was considerably greater than his long-running “tourist” business.
Chinese intelligence promised to pay the Russian father-son team “$1 million for the delivery of documentation on this training facility and its operations in the form of drawings, digital photos, information on flash drives,” the SBU said. As preparation for the operation “Yermakov‘s son made several trips to the [People's Republic of China] where he visited People’s Liberation Army Navy facilities and met with their representatives.”
The SBU and diplomatic sources told Segodnya, the Ukrainian newspaper, that in addition to “digital data, drawings, and construction documents, the Russian duo had prepared some 1,500 pages of documents to hand over to Chinese intelligence.” This information had a value “to the national interests of Ukraine in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
China’s navy acquired the Varyag from the Ukrainian Nikolayev shipyards in 1998 for $20 million using a Chinese tourism company as a cover for the sale.
The original Chinese buyers promised that the ship would be turned into a casino and entertainment complex to be moored at the former Portuguese enclave of Macau, but the ship eventually was moved to China‘s Dalian shipyards, where it has been undergoing a refit for several years.
Chinese military officials have been quoted in China‘s state-run press as saying they plan to create a carrier-naval aviation capability; but “the Chinese need their own NITKA” for training their own carrier pilots, according to Ukrainian news reports, “and they have already begun building their own complex.”
U.S. intelligence officials said the first indications of China‘s plan for building aircraft carriers were land-based short takeoff and landing drills going back a decade.
The Chinese are building a massive carrier pilot training base at Xingcheng, in the northeastern province of Liaoning. Other facilities for training of carrier personnel and engineering support specialists have been built in Xian, Shanxi province. The Xingcheng facility has features that duplicate the design of NITKA in Ukraine.
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