PLA on course for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers

Discussion in 'China' started by ice berg, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    PLA on course for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers | South China Morning Post

    PLA on course for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers

    As major projects on core technologies for nuclear-powered vessels are approved, experts say developing a suitable, safe engine may take time
    Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 12:00am

    Minnie Chan [email protected]



    China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Photo: Xinhua

    Beijing has approved funding for major projects to develop core technologies for nuclear-powered vessels, a first official indication of plans to build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

    But military experts said it was too early to determine when China would have its first nuclear-powered carrier because it would take time to develop a safe and powerful engine.

    A report posted on the website of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, the largest state-owned shipbuilder, this week said the Ministry of Science and Technology had approved funding to its 719th Research Institute for two research projects, including core technologies and safety studies for nuclear-powered ships, as well as technical support for small nuclear reactors.

    The shipbuilding giant is also the top contractor of the People's Liberation Army Navy and took charge of the refitting work for China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

    Military experts said the report indicated that Beijing was formally kicking off its plan to develop indigenous nuclear-powered carriers.

    The Liaoning was built using the hull of a Soviet Kuznetsov-class carrier, the Varyag, with a displacement of 65,000 tonnes, which China acquired from Ukraine in 2002. It is a conventionally powered carrier.

    "The report told us that our country is going to introduce nuclear-powered technology on large-tonnage ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines and other warships," said Li Jie , a Beijing-based naval expert.
    [China] is going to introduce nuclear-powered technology on large-tonnage ships, including aircraft carriers, submarines and other warships

    In 2009, military sources told the South China Morning Post that Beijing initially planned to build up to four medium-sized aircraft carriers along the lines of the Liaoning by 2020, with the first two being launched by 2015.

    Nuclear-powered carriers had several advantages over conventional ones, Li said. "A conventionally powered carrier should be refuelled frequently … while the cruising range of a normal nuclear-powered carrier is unlimited as its small nuclear reactor could be used for up to 30 or even 50 years," he said.

    Song Xiaojun , a Beijing-based warship expert, said China was capable of developing nuclear-powered carriers because its navy had at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.

    "Both France and the United States developed nuclear-powered submarines first and then carriers," he said. "I think we can follow them too."

    Professor Arthur Ding Shu-fan, secretary general of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, said that Beijing needed to tackle a traditional headache - the engine.

    "The engine is one of the core technologies for a nuclear-powered carrier project," he said. "Compared with submarines, a carrier is much bigger. It's not an easy job for Beijing to develop a safe and powerful engine capable of driving a huge platform of more than 100,000 tonnes."
     
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  3. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Congrats, but dont you think first you have to make regular carrier then go for nuke power aircraft carrier.
     
  4. ice berg

    ice berg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sure.
    CV 001-
    Liaoning and 001A

    then a new class
    002 and 002A CATOBAR and maybe nuclear propulsion.

    They are talking about research, not building a new AC.
     
  5. cir

    cir Senior Member Senior Member

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    This programme will bear fruits within 5 years,by which time EMALs、electromagnetic guns and laser weapons will be more or less ready for shipborne testing and can all be deployed on China's 1st nuclear-powered CV down the road。
     
  6. Sam2012

    Sam2012 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Is Varyag fully operational , and how many nuclear powered carrier china is planing to deploy?
     
  7. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    No

    Depends. It's an ongoing debate, as always, between submarine proponents and aircraft carrier proponents. ACs are visible and popular, but are they necessarily more effective at getting the job done?

    This question ties into larger geopolitical considerations as well. If tensions between China and Japan subside over the next decade, we might see only one or two (at most) nuclear carriers get launched. On the other hand, if tensions remain high, China might consider launching four or even five carriers by 2023, with Nimitz-sized carrier air wings and naval AWACS on the third, fourth, and fifth ships. If that was the case, we would see a sort of "Dreadnought race redux" between the US and China, much like the same naval race between Britain and Germany over a century ago.
     
  8. Sam2012

    Sam2012 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Wish u all the best:thumb:
     
  9. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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  10. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    To be honest, I hope that race doesn't happen, because it increases the temptation that China and the US would go to war. Given how most long-range naval/air combat is decided by who has the better C4ISR network, then both sides will end up hitting each other's theater- and even strategic-level C4ISR nodes quite hard. Those high-grade nodes (space-based recon and targeting assets, military fiber optic links, long-range wireless communications) will, incidentally, also be the ones that control each side's nuclear arsenal, which means that any escalation to that level carries the same qualitative risk of triggering MAD as a counterforce first strike.
     
  11. Sam2012

    Sam2012 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Don't worry did Soviet union & USA go to war? they came close during cuban missile crisis . But would engage in proxy war
     
  12. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    One Cuban Missile Crisis is enough, thank you. I don't think the world could survive another one.
     
  13. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    I still insist on my consistent viewpoint,that AC is just a police tool, instead of real war blades.....the real war blade is still nuke subs....which can decide the final of war.
     
  14. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    AC's are a little bit like those two armored brigades the US V Corps put right on the edge of the Fulda Gap from 1975 to 1989... they're simply tripwires to trigger a casus belli for long-range strategic assets.
     
  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Uh, you didn't make Shi Lang. Ukraine did and they also provided the propulsion. Maybe when you can make your own engines you can think about it. Most PLAN surface ships run on French diesels. :lol:
     
  16. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Judging by the Chinese posters' comments here, they seem to believe that adding carriers to your fleet is same as buying from a wholesale store. Buy(In this case, build) everything in bulk, by the truckload.

    Jokes apart, the Chinese have yet to develop, forget perfect, Carrier protection and CBG escort protocols, not to mention even learn to maintain aircraft ops and flight deck maintainance. Its not as easy as it looks on TV. Everything has strict set SOPs that have been developed through decades of experience. Even the guy ficpxing the catapult system to the aircraft frontwheel has strict instructions for operating, nopever mind the WSO. And then there is the control room, the nerve centre of the CBG.

    The chinese would be lucky to develop this in the next 5-7 years, let aline induct and deploy a Carrier fleet on deep patrols. And this is for a conventionally powered carrier.the nuclear reactor is a whole different deal. A super carrier will carry upto 4 reactors, much more complex than on a sub. And the last time someone hurriedly inducted a nuclear powered vessel we had the K-19 incident. Now thats no problem if the racially superior Chines are immune to radiation though.
     
  17. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    well, enough money+ complete industry-chains = nothing impossbile.
     
  18. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Agreed money makes life a whole lot easier, but you certainly cant compensate experience and competence with money. If that were the case, the Arabs would be building gold plated nuke subs. They dont, do they?

    In time the PLAN will learn the tricks of the trade, that is expected, but to imagine dumping cash will somehow cut the time required is ridiculous thinking. US took decades despite having the largest funds.
    Of course, you could hire crews from the ex-USN crews, assuming they'd be paid enough to defect. Or maybe you could copy paste it from the TV shows....oh wait, you cant copy experience....or can you?
     
  19. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    You forget another condition--completely industry chain which is the key thing absent in Arab world.

    Everyone has to go through the same route as long as you don't want to buy most of your major equipments as india does!

    Actually, you can! You can copy your own experience in other similar product!
    Just remember, Chinese has been producing nuclear submarines for decades. They are not exactly the same, but certainly it means that Chinese industry doesn't need to start from scratch.
     
  20. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    thanks, we know that. are we working together in China currently.
    but we are the boss, money call the shot.
    and in spare time , we also talking about Indian military, you guys English are not good enough , but we still get a lot information from you guys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  21. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    One has to look at China's foreign policy before you get such grandiose ideas. They have chosen a path of regional aggression but global non-interference. The folly of trying to conduct anti-piracy patrols without forward basing agreements saw Chinese admirals embarrassed begging France for port calls. A CVN has a couple advantages, but range isn't one of them. It is limited by its escorts which aren't nuclear powered. The advantages are ready steam for catapults, more room for aviation fuel by eliminating bunker stores and cheaper fuel life costs.

    The purpose of Chinese carriers are the same as the Soviets. To extend the range of aviation from the coast and protect vulnerable submarines. It is part of extending the defense ring to the second tier...

    [​IMG]

    Since China will never have a true power projection carrier like CdG or Nimitz class, nuclear isn't really necessary.
     
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