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Asia's Aircraft Carrier Renaissance

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posted on Jun, 4 2018 @ 10:14 PM
Asia is having something of a aircraft carrier renaissance not seen since Japan decided to pick a fight with the US. China, Japan, South Korea and India are all working on ships that are either outright carriers or are capable of being used as jeep carriers. There has been a lot of news out lately about the programs.

China has two carriers at this point with a third under construction. The first one, the Liaoning, is the ex Varyag bought from Ukraine back in the 90s and extensively refurbished. The Chinese just declared the Liaoning's IOC(1). This follows the Liaoning conducting night landings and its J-15s conducting live fire exercises(2). The second carrier, sometimes called Shandong, just concluded its supposedly successful sea trials(3) and has a number of improvements on the Liaoning(4). The third carrier is being built in Shanghai and is reportedly going to be more like the CATOBAR carriers the US has, rather than the STOBAR carriers the previous two carriers are. Recent pictures(5) from the Dalian shipyard don't show another carrier started there, so that may signal the "Shandong" may be the last of the CV01 line of carriers. OTOH, it might be a little soon if the "Shandong" might still need more work. Reports vary as to the number of carriers the Chinese want. The numbers vary from as little as 4 to as much as 10, with the latter more often iterated by the Chinese themselves.

India has a carrier that used to be a Russian warship(6) and has another aircraft carrier under construction. The INS Vikramaditya is the former Russian/Soviet Gorshkov that was rebuilt into a STOBAR carrier and is currently operational with the Indian Navy. The Indian are also working on the INS Vikrant(7) . This is their first indigenous aircraft carrier and it, too, will be a STOBAR carrier. Sadly, the Vikrant has been badly delayed and the sea trials are supposedly to start next year with the induction into the IN in 2023. The question now is whether or not the next carrier will be the same as the Vikrant or something significantly updated when they build the Vishal, their second indigenous carrier. Originally, a second Vikrant class was planned, but with the newly proposed Vishal, that second ship may not happen. The as currently proposed Vishal(8) would incorporate a lot of American technology like the EMALS catapults and be a CATOBAR carrier.

This week the South Koreans have launched their second LPH(9). The original Dokdo LPH was launched in 2005 and commissioned in 2007. The class was originally going to be three amphibs, but one of the ships has been cancelled. The South Koreans have stated they want to carrier F-35Bs on the ship and have spots for up to five on the deck at a time. While the capability would be very limited, the South Koreans have been talking up the capability and have started making comments they want to have a pair of true carriers(10), rather than the mini jeep carriers. IMO, this is probably in response to the Japanese, since the Japanese and South Koreans are not exactly friendly for historical and a couple territorial reasons.

The Japanese are also interested being part of the carrier game. They have been unsubtly sneaking up on the goal of having carriers again for a long time. The Izumo class 'helicopter destroyer' are the latest edging to that goal. However, recently, the Japanese have pretty much decided they are going to use the Izumo's as jeep carriers. The MOD authorized the original study(11) that looked at putting the F-35B, RQ-21 and MQ-8C on their decks(12). The study did find the Izumo could support the F-35B et al(13) and there are rumors the Izumo class were designed with the F-35B in mind from the get go(14): the hangar was built large enough, much larger than for the other potential aircraft it would carry. The Liberal Democratic Party is urging the government to upgrade the Izumo's to take on the F-35B and for Japan to buy the F-35B. However, they do not want to call the Izumo a carrier. They want to call it a mothership(15). This has not pleased the Chinese(16).

Australia will get a nod here, but the Canberra class are not expected to get fixed wing aircraft(17) and Australia is not really Asia. It just has to deal with Asia. Sadly, the Canberra class have had some serious issues and the decision to NOT put the F-35B onboard might have been a good one(18). Theoretically, they could though should they ever change their Aussie minds.

Oh and, yes, the Thai still have their Spanish built carrier. However, they are not likely to order another any time soon.

As you can see, the interest in aircraft carriers in Asia is far from flagging. Quite the contrary, it appears the carrier business is booming. I have wanted to write this for a while after all the discussions earlier in the year about whether or not carriers were a rising thing in the East.

Links at the bottom.
















16. 2a4e34b4ff6329661d8aa9f0ddb7f671



posted on Jun, 4 2018 @ 10:25 PM
a reply to: anzha

One response will be "They should be using the money to feed the poor."

However, whilst the primary role is military, the secondary role is rescue and such like after an emergency situation.

Being either close to or right on top of the circle of fire, this secondary role is not one that we should overlook.

This ability has been demonstrated time and time again.

Nice OP. Well done.


edit on 4/6/2018 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2018 @ 10:29 PM
a reply to: anzha

What really matters is whether or not one is a nuclear class.

posted on Jun, 4 2018 @ 10:35 PM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Sadly after Fukushima whether a carrier is Nuclear I suppose doesn't make much difference. The Oceans are effed.

posted on Jun, 4 2018 @ 10:43 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

The oceanic nuclear tests did more damage to the oceanic ecosystem than Fukushima did. And more people have died from accidents and the effects of coal than nuclear. And all the plastic waste is probably doing far more than the nukes, whether meltdown or explosions, did.

posted on Jun, 5 2018 @ 06:07 AM

originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

The oceanic nuclear tests did more damage to the oceanic ecosystem than Fukushima did. And more people have died from accidents and the effects of coal than nuclear. And all the plastic waste is probably doing far more than the nukes, whether meltdown or explosions, did.

Ummm...translation...when you combine all of those scenario's into one...the oceans are fracked...along with everything living in or on them...


posted on Jun, 5 2018 @ 06:20 AM

originally posted by: anzha
Asia is having something of a aircraft carrier renaissance not seen since Japan decided to pick a fight with the US.

It was not just the US the Japanese picked a fight with. Just for balance.

India has had carriers since the 1960s, so at least has been consistent.

The Chinese growth is part of their plans to be dominant in power projection, which does not bode well for those nations nearby, especially those who have conflicting territorial claims e.g. South China Sea. I think places like Japan will not try to out-build China, but rely on local dominance. However, if you are a smaller nation then prepare to be intimidated because there ain't nothing you will be able to do when China starts to build an artificial Island in you neighbourhood.

posted on Jun, 5 2018 @ 08:37 AM
Canberra Class serious issues?

Also at least they're getting CIWS.

posted on Jul, 3 2018 @ 11:53 PM
link r-two-months-idUSKBN1JU0CJ

Japanese are taking their helicopter carrier into the South China Sea and Indian Ocean for two months.

posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 12:11 PM
on the flip side, the Indian's plans for the Vishal next gen indigenous carrier have stalled due to budget issues:

posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 04:33 PM
a reply to: anzha

I'm not surprised. Even if they build one similar in size to the French that's a decent bit of change.

posted on Jul, 20 2018 @ 08:23 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

INS Vikrant, India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, to commence sea trials by 2020

posted on Aug, 18 2018 @ 06:45 PM

Supposedly, the Type 075 under construction.

This is supposed to be an LHD. The same as the Wasp or America class.

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 01:30 PM
South Korea is considering buying F-35Bs to use on carriers.

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 07:47 PM
a reply to: anzha

More on South Korea:

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 07:52 PM
Its interesting how all these countries are building carriers, yet in some threads here on ATS you only hear about how carriers are outdated, they will all be destroyed by ship killing missiles etc, usually pointing at China as a key reason for sounding the death knell of the carrier.

So either like the US the left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing in China... or they dont believe their ship killers will be as effective as some claim and feel they better have some carriers ready for aciton.

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 08:15 PM
a reply to: Irishhaf

I believe that carriers have some issues right now with vulnerabilities.

I also believe there's only certain things that carriers can do and nothing else can.

It would seem a LOT of countries agree. Hence, that would be why Japan, China, South Korea, the US, (maybe) Russia, India, Britain, France and possibly others are buying or building carriers.

I would say those countries think the carriers are far from obsolete.

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 08:21 PM
a reply to: anzha

depends on the missile development, there are limits to the speed our current systems can interdict, the US is working hard to make changes and I am sure the others are as well.

Pretty much whoever perfects anti-ship missiles first will have a huge advantage for a short time.

posted on Aug, 20 2018 @ 08:58 PM
a reply to: Irishhaf

Well, a US carrier battle group typically has a cruiser and at least two, if not three destroyers, iirc. That's almost 400 missile cells. To overcome that will require some very serious capabilities that are not quite in evidence yet. The Chinese may have a ASM ballistic missile that would be a headache, but its not as guaranteed as folks like to make it out to be.

posted on Aug, 21 2018 @ 01:49 AM
The main deterrent with regards to attacking a Strike Group isn't necessarily the retaliation from the group itself but the unwelcomed conventional/unconventional hellfire that the assaulter would experience due to committing such an act. Anyone who outright attacks a carrier group would risk a response just short of a nuclear war and while yes, carriers are vulnerable, it's just not in anyone's best interest to start a conflict that could escalate in such a manner.

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