China's aircraft carrier ends sea trials
China's first aircraft carrier is shown in port in Dalian on August 4.
August 15th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

China's aircraft carrier ends sea trials

China's first aircraft carrier was back in port Monday after completing four days of sea trials.

Seven tugboats pulled the vessel, a platform China acquired from Ukraine, into the port of Dalian on Sunday morning. The carrier's radar was visible, but weapons systems were concealed under sheets, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

A Chinese military expert told the People's Daily Online that the radar system, called the "Chinese Aegis" in reference to its sophisticated U.S. Navy counterpart, is one of the most advanced deployed by any navy.

The Chinese military has not given details of what was tested during the trials, but China Central Television said engines, navigation and weapons systems, and fire-control and life-saving systems were likely to be checked.

People's Daily Online, citing China Navy Military Academy researcher Li Jie, said some unmanned aircraft may have landed on the carrier during the sea trials.

People's Daily Online said that when completed, the carrier will be able to carry 30 J-15 fighter planes and will have a crew of 2,000.

The refitting of the carrier, which has yet to be named, will be continued in the Dalian port, Chinese media reported.

China bought the shell of the carrier, then called the Varyag, from Ukraine in 1998. Its construction was begun under the Soviet military before the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The carrier has become a tourist draw in Dalian, Xinhua reported, with citizens converging on the port to catch a glimpse.

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Filed under: China • Military
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    SEtTING A SHIP TO SEA without a name is bad luck...argh.... atleast that's what captain ron told me...

    August 15, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamil

      With that piece of bad luck, might as well call it the SS Brick.
      Ah Capt Ron. Where is he now, I wonder?

      August 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Rich

      It is not about luck. It is about skills. China has not name a captain yet. May be some Russians can apply.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. China Navy Military Academy researcher Li Jie

    we the people of china are going to name the ship after one of our great heros, long duck dong from that movies 16 candells. in china that movie is a national treasure....

    August 15, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • 16C

      Doooong Where is my air craft car ri er?

      August 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. frap

    Long Dick is the name

    August 15, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Maersk

      And Limpily Dick is your physical name.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Pink Pather

      And @ Maersk.... You two are racking me up, LMAO

      August 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pink Pather

      Opps, meant "cracking"

      August 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pedro

    Its made out of tin like all the other cheap junk from chiner. One wave and itll sink. In a week it will be all rusted up. Bet it even has a wind up motor.

    August 15, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Maersk

      You must have forgotten that even you yourself is Chinese made. It is time for you to acknowledge that you have a Chinese father.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • hey riots

      It was built by the Soviets, NOT by China

      August 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. UK riots

    The front of the carrier is lifted up? Does this mean China has horrible pilots?

    August 15, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • hey riots

      The lifted up part is called a "ski-jump". The design makes it unnecessary to catapult the aircraft like they do in US carriers.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Rich

      When you can't afford catapults and don't have enough steam to drive the turbines, much less the catapults, you use ski-jumps, to give the planes a lift. The down side is you cannot match the high rate of launch capable of catapult equipped carriers. The important measurement is how long does it take to launch all of your planes (80 – 120). If it takes more than an hour...

      August 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • T1Brit

      The ski-jump is a cost-saver – it means that smaller planes can get airborne without the added cost of a catapault.
      But it also means they can't launch the bigger planes – like the E2 hawkeye AWACS.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Rich

      China doesn't have any carrier launchable AWAC's anyway.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutPastPluto

      It means that this ship is not at all comparable to any US aircraft carrier made after World War 2.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob

      Bill Rich, carriers with ski jump ramps can actually launch aircraft at a significantly higher rate than carriers with catapults. Each time the catapult launches an aircraft, it must be reset before moving the next aircraft in position. On carriers with ski jump ramps, planes can take off one right after the other without having to wait for the catapult to be reset. The only trade off for ski jumps is that they can't launch large aircraft, and the boost provided by the catapult saves some of the aircraft's fuel. As for the catapult system, slower launch rate isn't the only downside. The catapult mechanism is complicated, and is prone to breakdown.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      By design this carrier is not intended to carry heavy aircraft. It is a Kuznetsov class "carrier". It isn't even designated as a carrier by the Russians, they call it a “heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser”. It's mission is to support strategic missile-carrying submarines, surface ships, and naval missile-carrying aircraft. It also has a large helicopter complement for anti-submarine warfare.

      Of course, how and whether the Chinese refit alters that mission is a different question ...

      August 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. UK riots

    Hey maersk where ur comment to that post? or u just a web surfer that doesnt know sht?

    August 15, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. T1Brit

    Well the US carriers are a lot better looking than this Soviet tub.
    That loopy nose is like a kids drawing of a boat.
    Is it an accident that the picture is slightly tilted?
    Makes it look even worse – like it's about to sink.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Rich

      This tub follows the design of the Chinese junk ferrying goods from ship to shore in most Chinese ports in the good old days. Capabilities are similar too.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • prevailing word ministries

      That long "ski slope" makes it a very easy missile hit on the first try at over 200NM. Did any one note that they hid their weapons systems with sheets? The scoop on those systems is already "noted," so who's fooling who?

      August 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill Rich

    It is wonderful that China chose to do its "sea trial" using tugs, not on its own power. What do you call a lame duck of this size ?

    August 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nopein2012

      Obama. Oh wait, it's just his ego, that is that size.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. erik

    China notorious for copying anything they can lay there hands on, maybe for consumer use its below standards,
    but i think for their mil use it might be top class.
    BUT don't forget, i think the USA is to blaim for the ease by which china can lay their hands on USA goods,
    like the cisco routers, with made in china backdoor, discovert in Germany on some airforcebase Rammstein?
    So USA keep your secrets under lock and key.
    You try to hard be friends with everyone, even the ones you cann't trust nomather how much money you spent,
    This is the major mistake they make..

    August 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pedro

    Their planes are super stealthy and quiet, powered by a rubber band with wind up propellar.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ChinesePatentInfringer

    The Stealth Hericopter our Pakistan fliends ret us rook at will rook gleat on this callier!

    August 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FU

    The only reason it didn't sink is because it's made in china and therefore mostly plastic...

    August 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Radar system "made in China" - enough said.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kyle H. Davis

    Unmanned aircraft may have landed... RIIIiiiiiiiggggghhhhtttt. What was that Wayne's World quote? Oh, yeah... "And monkeys might fly out of my butt."

    They can't build their own aircraft carrier, or jets to land on them, but they already have UNMANNED, carrier ready aircraft?

    August 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alaric

    Presumably the carrier has been refurbished to the exacting standards used for their high speed rail system?

    August 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
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