I wouldn't cut that soviet ship down as never seeing military action. The US Navy has currently one aircraft carrier that is over 42 years old, the
USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63 and has been continually upgraded over its life, the latest upgrade being the RAM system. So do you think the Chinese wouldn't
think twice about working on a 20 year old, never used carrier?! Thats like being offered to marry Willow or Buffy and saying NO! lol
I personally think that this will be the first operational aircraft carrier within the PLAN, I do see it being used as a training carrier early in its
career, but I don't see how they couldn't use it in combat. Its the hulk, from what has been stated within some new reports, its been "plumed" for
conventionally powered propulsion wise, its just short of its operating machinery.
I just can’t see the PLAN NOT using it operationally, the PLAN have the skills to add armor, power plants, defense systems, offensive systems. Its
not that hard, they already employ a vast amount of soviet technology in their armed forces, their ship yards are progressing at a quite an amazing
rate. The Varyag is an incomplete carrier, but it is a carrier, it's floating, its ready to be fitted, if you can train with it and still have it
operational at the same time, why not use it operational!
Also, with the French pushing towards the arms ban to be lifted with china, do you think the French where sizing up the specs for the Varyag to see
what they can offer to fit to the Chinese Carrier!
Lets face folks, if the Chinese don’t have second thoughts about employing Romeo class subs, even in second line duties, do you think that they
couldn’t work on the Varyag, where it was combat ready?
[edit on 4-4-2005 by gooseuk]