At the naval base at Dalian Kwantung Peninsula September 23, 2012 was officially raised the flag on the new ship Navy People`s Liberation Army of China. This ship was the former Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser "Varyag", won the Chinese Navy side number "16" and, according to some -the name "Liaoning" in honor of the province, which is located on the territory which became his home for Dalian. Enter the fleet like a ship takes on special significance against the backdrop of the current tense political situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Who`s time to be afraid
Transfer Navy aircraft carrier "board number 16" as it was described in the Chinese press, is of particular interest in connection with the developments in the Asia-Pacific region, where there is an increased competition in China on the one hand, and the U.S. and its allies -on the other. The conflict over the disputed Senkaku Islands, has caused several accidents at sea so far no casualties -just one manifestation of this rivalry.
enormous wealth shelf seas and the Western Pacific are already in operation, but the potential for growth of this operation is very large. And the nationality of any protruding piece of land over the sea, giving the right to outline around territorial waters and exclusive ekonomzonu acquires strategic importance.
Modern Japanese Navy started with the help and support of the U.S., while superior to the Chinese navy on equipment and combat capabilities . Now -before the commissioning of the first aircraft carrier. In the presence of an aircraft carrier, even with 20-25 fighters aboard speech about American wing sizes 50-70 machines does not go, the Chinese navy gets a huge advantage in view distance, distance and defensive capabilities defeat over rival, a carrier is not available.
Union with the United States, of course, gives certain guarantees to Japan, but Washington pulling the burden of global domination, can be a lot of problems, and the Chinese navy is clearly not limited to a single former Soviet aircraft carrier. According to available information, the PLA Navy have until 2030 to get even, at least two, maybe -three ships of this class, has self-built.
potential for response in Japan, of course, there`s . Their two light aircraft carrier with a displacement of 19,000 tons, with characteristic modesty called vertoletonesuschimi Japanese destroyers in the future will carry up to 8 fighters F-35B on each. Obviously, however, that to counter the fleet of two or three ships with a displacement of 65,000 tons, carrying at least three times more heavy fighters each, this is not enough.
It is also evident that the developed high-tech shipbuilding industry in Japan today can quickly build a ship of any class and size. And if the rivalry with China will continue to grow, and the U.S. will align deeper in the mire of numerous small wars and economic problems, it is possible to bet not pass and 20 years, as a part of the Japanese Navy will have its own ship of similar size and samoletovmestimosti.
No less interesting is the question of how all this stuff many neighbors should worry about Russia? The answer to this question seems to be quite simple -we can start to worry after China and Japan will be able to agree on fundamental issues.
still have time to spare: now the first Chinese aircraft carrier begins to act as an academic, and taking as a basis the Soviet pace of complex "aircraft carrier," we can say that hardly the first Chinese aircraft carrier will be ready for action As warship earlier than five years .
Commenting on the timing of commissioning of the new Chinese aircraft carrier, it should be understood and "birthmark" all ships of the project in 1143, which include the former "Varyag" -unreliable boiler-turbine power plant. Show donors at all Soviet aircraft carriers to "Admiral Kuznetsov", inclusive, and gave another surprise in the form of failure of the three boilers at the recent trials "Vikramaditya", energy carrier can be capricious and "Varyag", further increasing the time and costs his finishing .
To fully understand the prospects of the former "Varyag" is worth recalling the story of its creation.
Ships with a thousand namesIn
90s major Soviet ships, as is often the case under the curtain of the Empire suffered a hard fate, with a long preservation, sale, repair and renaming.
Val renaming, however, began even before becoming a harbinger of trouble:-Type "Varyag" aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" in the project was called "Soviet Union" on the board in the mortgage section Hold still bore the name "Riga" on water in 1985 has been lowered as "Leonid Brezhnev" to the test in 1989 came out as "Tbilisi", and to the north in 1991, he had already gone under its current name.
few more fortunate never is able to go to India "Vikramaditya": he had only three names -"Baku", "Admiral Gorshkov" and present -"Vikramaditya".
"Varyag" the number of names coincided with the acquisition of Indian seafarers. After the previous ship was renamed in honor of the Secretary General, the next again laid as "Riga", so as not to offend the union republic. In 1990, when with Latvia on the whole, it was already clear, the ship was the "Varyag". In 1993, the Russian Ministry of Defence wrote off en masse as five aircraft carriers: "Kiev", "Minsk", "Novorossiysk" and the unfinished "Varyag" and "Ulyanovsk" . Name the ship taken away and assigned another victim of the collapse of the Empire -the "Varyag" was the Project 1164 missile cruiser "Chervona Ukraina", the current flagship of the Pacific Fleet.
aircraft carrier, shall remain nameless, a few years rusting at the wall of the Black Sea shipyard until it was sold for scrap Chinese company Chong Lot Travel Agency Ltd to arrange a floating hotel with casino and entertainment establishments.
March 2002 after the 627-day towing unfinished ship was in Dalian. It soon became obvious that the floating hotel he was not destined to become: work on the ship were made in the interests of the Chinese Defense Ministry.
Floating University in 65,000 tons
In the second half of the 2000s it was already clear that China expects to receive a new warship that will be used for testing carrier aviation operations, interaction with an escort and training for prospective PLA Navy carrier forces in the armed forces of China`s navy is not an independent view Sun and subordinate Army.
Device Information and tactics carriers China methodically going around the world for several decades . Deprived of direct access to the leading "center of competence" -the U.S. Navy and its allies, the Chinese have carefully studied the experience of Argentina and Brazil, and, of course, collected all that could be collected in the former USSR.
In Ukraine, where former Soviet protect secrets nobody signed, besides the aircraft carrier China bought documentation and not one, not two fly off its prototype based fighter Su-33 Su-27K, and familiarized with the device THREAD -ground test training facility for testing was decked aircraft and pilot training.
similar set, actually -reinforced concrete copy of the basic elements of an aircraft carrier, with a deck, a springboard, finisher, and chopping-lifts "island" was built in China. On the basis of the Su-33 began to develop carrier-based fighter J-15, the prototype of which was the direct J-11 -Chinese copy of the Su-27 .
first flight J-15 took place in 2009, but up to the deck former "Varyag" aircraft has not yet reached -Tests braked including because China has not been able to acquire the technology aerobatsplanes -cables designed for braking sitting down on the deck of the aircraft.In
"independence" Ukraine full documentation of these systems left, and Russian access to any more or less detailed information about the systems and units severely suppressed carrier: a few people have time for contacts with the Chinese side on the relevant subject. Finishers Chinese had to do yourself , based on the experience gained during the familiarization with the aircraft carriers of different countries and external inspection units THREAD.
Given the history of "Varyag", and all the circumstances of the commissioning of the new Chinese aircraft carrier, you can only repeat that Russia still have time to get a strong fleet in the Pacific .
/ Ilya Kramnik columnist WGD "Voice of Russia", www.ria.ru /