"Common Genes": Why Chinese and Russian Aircraft Carrier Fleets Go Different Paths


The day before, a significant event took place in China. The third aircraft carrier was launched into the water, which will be part of the Chinese Navy. The PLA will be able to operate effectively in the waters of the Asia-Pacific region, creating a real threat to the US Navy and its allies. The most interesting thing here is that all Chinese aircraft-carrying ships have our Soviet genes, but the modern Russian Navy follows a different path of development.


"Chinese" way


China, critically dependent on maritime trade, began to look closely at aircraft carriers back in the XNUMXs. Like the Soviet ones, the Chinese admirals for some reason understood well that in order to counter the enemy aircraft carrier strike group, it is desirable to have their own AUG, not limited to “asymmetric responses” and other “original” concepts. The Chinese shipbuilders got their first experience by studying the decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Australian Navy Melbourne, which was disposed of in China. They then consulted with Spanish engineers on designs for light escort aircraft carriers.

But the real breakthrough came after several former Soviet heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers, Minsk, Kyiv and Varyag, fell into their hands. They were carefully studied, and the Varyag bought from Nezalezhnaya was delivered to the PRC with a lot of difficulties, where it was completed on its own and turned into the first Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. It was also a great help for them that it was possible to copy the heavy carrier-based Su-33 fighter.

The Liaoning entered service in 2012, turning into a platform on which the PLA worked out new Technology and trained its professional staff. On this training aircraft carrier, the first Chinese carrier-based fighter "Flying Shark" J-15 (a variation on the theme of our Su-33) was tested. On the Liaoning, Chinese deck pilots were trained, who now serve on new aircraft carriers.

In 2015, having gained real experience in operating an aircraft carrier and identifying the shortcomings of the Soviet design of the TAVKR, the PRC laid down a second aircraft carrier called the Shandong, which is an enlarged and improved version of the Liaoning, at the shipyard in Dalian. Like the Soviet prototype, the ship uses not a nuclear, but a boiler-turbine power plant. Instead of a catapult, a springboard is used for takeoff. The air wing has been increased to 32 aircraft and 12 helicopters versus 24 and 13 for Liaoning, respectively. The independent construction of an aircraft carrier was a huge step forward for Chinese shipbuilders. Note that they managed very quickly, and already in 2019, the Shandong became part of the Chinese Navy. At the same time, numerous escort ships were built in parallel, which allowed Beijing to immediately form a full-fledged combat-ready AUG.

But the matter did not end there, and in 2018 China began construction of the third Type 003 (Type 003) aircraft carrier, called Fujian. This ship is already significantly different from its predecessors. Its total displacement is 80000 tons, the power plant is combined (gas turbines rotate generators, and propellers are driven by electric motors). Unlike "Liaoning" and "Shandong", "Fujian" is equipped not with a take-off springboard, but with three electromagnetic catapults, its deck is straight. The design has been significantly improved, for example, the elevator allows you to lift not one, but two aircraft at the same time. The exact size of the air wing is not known, but it is obvious that it will be larger than that of its predecessors, and will include a carrier-based AWACS aircraft, which will radically increase the combat capabilities of the Chinese AUG.

If "Liaoning" and "Shandong" are conceptually close to our TAVKR "Admiral Kuznetsov", then "Fujian" took the maximum from the more advanced Soviet ATAVKR "Ulyanovsk", which we did not have time to complete, with the exception, perhaps, of a nuclear power installation. This technical problem will be solved already on the fourth Chinese type 004 aircraft carrier, which will be nuclear-powered and will be able to operate as part of the AUG around the world.

As you can see, the Chinese comrades do not waste time and nerves arguing about whether aircraft carriers are needed or not, but simply build them, having studied world experience as far as possible, and do it in a comprehensive manner, step by step. And how are things going with this in our country, which actually gave the Celestial Empire all these turnkey technologies?

Russian way


We have a hard time with this. The entire world and Soviet experience is completely denied, and the Soviet admirals, who ordered a series of four ATAVKRs of the Ulyanovsk type at once, now seem to be some kind of eccentrics who understand absolutely nothing in their business. At the same time, the fate of our last heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral Kuznetsov" objectively reflected all the existing systemic problems.

Yes, when they argue fiercely about whether Russia needs aircraft carriers or not, for some reason they forget that we already have TAVKR. The problem is that there is no way they can make it truly combat-ready. When, after the collapse of the USSR and the division of the Black Sea Fleet with Ukraine, "Admiral Kuznetsov" was forced to transfer to the Northern Fleet, none of the responsible persons bothered to provide the construction of infrastructure for its maintenance. As a result, the cruiser stood for decades in the winter without the supply of heat and electricity, mediocrely working out its resource. Today he is "ushatan" as if he were constantly going on trips across the three seas. The experience of real participation in the Syrian campaign revealed all its problems: the technical condition is deplorable, carrier-based pilots do not have enough flight hours, etc. Then it was almost drowned during repairs along with the sunken floating dock, and then it was almost burned.

The construction of new aircraft carriers today rests not only on the objections of numerous "haters", but also on the lack of free shipbuilding capacities, the lack of professional personnel and modern warships for the AUG order, as well as the lack of coastal infrastructure for servicing aircraft carriers where they are really needed - in the Northern and Pacific fleets. So is this really all, the sad finale of the concept of a balanced fleet of Admiral Gorshkov, and our destiny is the “mosquitoes” hiding near the coast, unarmed “patrolmen” and tugs with modules of the Tor air defense system on the deck, secured with chains?

Some hope that this is not a complete final is given by the fact that two years ago at the Zaliv plant two universal landing ships of project 23900 with a total displacement of 40000 tons were laid. These two UDCs will be able to carry not only helicopters, anti-submarine and strike, but also UAVs. According to the federal media, work has begun on a deck-based UAV in Russia:

The first sample of the domestic carrier-based drone will perform a test flight in three years. Serial production of the apparatus for the Navy will begin in 2026.

They will probably be used at the UDC, and their running-in will begin at the Admiral Kuznetsov TAVKR, which is expected to be in service after repairs by 2024. Apparently, the future fate of this old cruiser is to be a training ship on which the use of unmanned carrier-based aircraft is tested, and deck pilots are also trained. Regarding the issue of the infrastructure for basing the UDC. One of them, Mitrofan Moskalenko, will become the future flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, and there was information in the media that work had begun on the construction of infrastructure for a helicopter carrier in Sevastopol. The second, "Ivan Rogov", after being put into operation, will go to the Pacific Fleet, where it will simply have to create coastal infrastructure for it. Let's hope that the leadership of the Russian Navy will someday get their hands on the Northern Fleet, whose flagship formally is the Admiral Kuznetsov.

Today, while ships of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranks are gradually being built, as well as coastal infrastructure, the current tasks of defending the country's maritime borders are being solved, it is important to preserve the school of carrier-based aviation itself and gain experience in the construction and operation of large-capacity ships. If Nikolaev returns to the Russian Federation, you look, and new prospects will emerge.
  • Author:
  • Photos used: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
28 comments
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  1. Yuri V.A Offline Yuri V.A
    Yuri V.A (Yuri) 18 June 2022 13: 35
    +8
    There are no different ways of development, it’s just that Russia simply lost shipbuilding competencies and after Ulyanovsk it’s still unknown when and how the conceived UDC will turn out
    1. Dukhskrepny Offline Dukhskrepny
      Dukhskrepny (Vasya) 18 June 2022 13: 41
      +1
      By the year 2030, maybe the UDC will be, or maybe not.
  2. Dukhskrepny Offline Dukhskrepny
    Dukhskrepny (Vasya) 18 June 2022 13: 40
    -3
    The aircraft carrier fleet of Russia is not going anywhere. It lies on its side. Putin is tired of the Russians and Russia
  3. 1_2 Offline 1_2
    1_2 (Ducks are flying) 18 June 2022 13: 58
    0
    when an unknown submarine sinks a US or PRC aircraft carrier, then everyone will understand that they are useless against a strong developed power, but for now, let them spread their fingers if they like it so much and scare the Papuans
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 18 June 2022 14: 49
      +3
      Quote: 1_2
      when an unknown submarine sinks a US or PRC aircraft carrier, then everyone will understand that they are useless against a strong developed power, but for now, let them spread their fingers if they like it so much and scare the Papuans

      Tell me, how long will any other ship last against aviation, anti-ship missiles and submarines? We have already lost three ships in the Black Sea. This is the first question.
      And the second. Isn't the presence of carrier-based aircraft and PLO helicopters, as well as AWACS aircraft on an aircraft carrier, some kind of protection against inglorious death for himself and his escort?
      1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
        Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 18 June 2022 17: 41
        -1
        sorry to intervene, ...... any surface ship is vulnerable, so our surface ships must perform tasks under the umbrella of coastal air defense and coastal aviation, but the loss of a corvette is one thing, and the loss of a monstrous giant with 4000 people is another, .... ..at the same time, carrier-based aviation is completely useless as an air defense or drill of a ship (it can only bomb defenseless women and children of the Papuans), and even more so, it’s not air defense and drills of several ships, it can be trite at sea, and the enemy only needs to wait by the sea for an unsuitable weather (rather, at sea, the weather is always unsuitable for carrier-based aviation and only occasionally suitable), your avik will turn not only into an obviously senseless, but also into a completely defenseless target, its huge carcass dying will create too much PR effect and can reduce the spirit of our military, this more than the loss of an obsolete cruiser from one missile, the Avik all the more has a number of problems with stability, and it will sink faster than Moscow, 4000 people will die immediately ..... and the noise will kids all over the world
      2. qtfreet Offline qtfreet
        qtfreet (Stephen Hawkins) 18 June 2022 19: 19
        0
        By the way, the Fujian was launched just yesterday! Do you predict that he will have a great future?
      3. 1_2 Offline 1_2
        1_2 (Ducks are flying) 20 June 2022 00: 40
        0
        Well, if you really want to scare the NATO people, you can place the Yak-141 on an Afromax-type tanker (they started building in the Russian Federation), the length is 250 m, I think 10 pieces will fit on the deck.
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 June 2022 07: 14
          0
          Yak-141 is not produced. Combat use of SKVVP from a conventional dry cargo ship is impossible. The Britons simply transported their Harriers on bulk carriers.
          But now your level of immersion in the subject is clear.
          1. 1_2 Offline 1_2
            1_2 (Ducks are flying) 20 June 2022 12: 01
            +1
            my level is philistine, that is, not lower than all those who write articles about their Wishlist here, you can, of course, write about a starship, without which the Aerospace Forces allegedly cannot survive, and about aliens whose experience and technologies would be very useful to Russian pilots and sailors .... but here is infa for sober-minded, google

            During a NATO exercise, a US Navy aircraft carrier strike group was hit by a single Swedish Navy submarine. Submarine worth 100 million dollars dealt with a group of ships worth tens of billions.
  4. Pat Rick Offline Pat Rick
    Pat Rick 18 June 2022 14: 45
    -1
    If Nikolaev returns to the Russian Federation,

    I don't think it's possible to go back to where you've never been.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 18 June 2022 14: 50
      +1
      It's your way. The Russian Federation is officially the legal successor of the USSR.
  5. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 18 June 2022 17: 51
    -2
    uv the author continues the fruitless theory of the imaginary need for aviks in the Russian Federation ..... all of them were ingloriously sold or written off ahead of schedule. because they are not needed ...... dear useless vulnerable and still require monstrous docks and non-existent berths, they climb into the dock for life and take up space there indefinitely and not only in the Russian Federation ..... how much I ask, dear Sergey what are his specific tasks of your aviks? just do not need general phrases of the MO site, but what specific ones? you evade the answer means you are wrong! you are totally mistaken and aircraft carriers are not needed in the Russian Federation
  6. aslanxnumx Offline aslanxnumx
    aslanxnumx (Aslan) 18 June 2022 20: 10
    +2
    Build an aircraft carrier or don't build it, what difference does it make if the authorities don't know how to use the fleet, and not just the fleet. Well, at least the Turks don't let NATO ships in.
  7. faiver Offline faiver
    faiver (Andrei) 19 June 2022 08: 17
    0
    So far, there is no Russian way regarding the construction of aircraft carriers, I agree with Yuri V.A.'s comment, you can not think about aviks for the next five years, especially since we do not have an AUG escort to them
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 19 June 2022 10: 37
      0
      Quote: vladimir1155
      uv the author continues the fruitless theory of the imaginary need for aviks in the Russian Federation ..... all of them were ingloriously sold or written off ahead of schedule. because they are not needed ...... dear useless vulnerable and still require monstrous docks and non-existent berths, they climb into the dock for life and take up space there indefinitely and not only in the Russian Federation ..... how much I ask, dear Sergey what are his specific tasks of your aviks? just do not need general phrases of the MO site, but what specific ones? you evade the answer means you are wrong! you are totally mistaken and aircraft carriers are not needed in the Russian Federation

      And why are only Russians so smart
      1. faiver Offline faiver
        faiver (Andrei) 19 June 2022 10: 52
        0
        I'm not saying that they are not needed, I just think that they are needed, but so far we are not shining
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 June 2022 07: 11
          0
          I am of the same opinion. Needed, but not yet affordable.
      2. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
        Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 20 June 2022 07: 17
        0
        thank you for being smart, (I also read the fable about the crow and the fox) as I prophesied, you are trying stubbornly to evade the answer, and you again did not answer the specific question, because you have no answer, you died in an unequal struggle, defeated as a Swede near Poltava, all your arguments turned out to be unfounded slogans gleaned by you from Timokhin, whom I also completely defeated a long time ago .... and you also wrote that you are smart and quick-witted, so name the specific feasible goals and objectives of your Avik !!!! ! They are not here!!!! some show-offs and references to the fact that if they do it in the west and in the PRC, then we should too ..... despite the fact that both the west and the PRC have a lot of interests on other continents, and we would protect the Barents Sea and the water area near Kamchatka .. . well! think about your gray matter Sergey! You are smart .... if I were as deeply mistaken as you, I would still wriggle out and at least come up with something .... but you feel weak, right?
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 June 2022 11: 48
          0
          thank you for being smart, (I also read the fable about the crow and the fox) as I prophesied, you are trying stubbornly to evade the answer, and you again did not answer the specific question, because you have no answer, you died in an unequal struggle, defeated as a Swede near Poltava, all your arguments turned out to be unfounded slogans you gleaned from Timokhin, which I also defeated completely and long ago ....

          Vladimir, it seemed to me that we had already closed the issue with the goals and objectives for aircraft carriers in the Russian Navy when I sent you a link to the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, where they are scheduled for the Admiral Kuznetsov TAVKR.
          Why is the official position of the military department not enough for you and why are you forcing me to additionally decipher, detail and invent something else? I sincerely don't understand.
          As for Timokhin, I have been sincerely interested in naval topics for a long time, even outside my work, I read different authors and reasoned comments for and against. Personally, the approach of my countryman, Andrey, is closer to me. By the way, I perfectly remember all the battles in the VO, where you were smashed quite reasonably, in my opinion, by other readers, naval officers. But I have no intention of trying to convince you of anything.

          Note that adequate people who write about the need for Aviks in the fleet in no way deny the need for everything else: minesweepers, corvettes, torpedo nuclear submarines, anti-submarine aircraft, and so on. Everything should be built gradually and comprehensively, and aviak is really not in the first place right now. Rejection causes only a sweeping denial of the global and Soviet experience in aircraft carriers.
          However, no one forbids you to stick to your opinion, right?
          1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
            Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 20 June 2022 12: 48
            0
            thanks for the detailed and polite answer, here from the MO website

            Designed to give combat stability to strategic missile submarines, surface ship groupings and naval missile-carrying aircraft in combat mission areas.

            it is clear that this is a general vague definition, it can be applied to a minesweeper (except for ensuring the combat stability of naval missile-carrying aviation), to a PLO corvette, to a frigate and a coastal-based aircraft. you stubbornly cannot name specific combat missions specifically for AB
  8. Awaz Offline Awaz
    Awaz (Walery) 19 June 2022 21: 55
    0
    Yes, Russia does not need aircraft carriers. And the same Kuznetsov is a mistake. Russia does not attack anyone anywhere and its main task is to ensure the security of its territory. For this, aircraft carriers are generally unnecessary and not needed. We need mass aviation and a huge number of airfields and even more high-precision and powerful ammunition with a large radius of action. In the modern world, the fleet is insanely vulnerable and useless, especially in the Russian situation. Of course, he is needed, but in a completely different concept, in the concept of defending his territory from sea directions, he must first of all have various kinds of air defense systems ..
  9. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
    Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 June 2022 07: 12
    0
    Quote: AwaZ
    Russia does not attack anyone anywhere and its main task is to ensure the security of its territory

    Tell that to the Ukrainians. smile And about the prospects for a landing operation near Odessa.
    1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 20 June 2022 07: 32
      0
      Quote: Marzhetsky
      about the prospects for a landing operation near Odessa.

      ahhh do you want to land troops on minefields as an aircraft carrier without minesweepers ????? Is Moscow tragically dead not enough for you? and its draft is too big for the shore ...... and what else do you think the territory of the so-called outskirts of is not Russian ?? deny SVO? Are you against President Putin?
      1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
        Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 June 2022 11: 58
        0
        Well, what nonsense? I answered above on minesweepers and other things, by the way.
  10. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 20 June 2022 15: 08
    0
    In principle, everything is correct, but there is no conclusion as a result of the header.
    Just described the general state of affairs here and there. What is systo + for informational content.

    But "Why" - the topic is not very disclosed ...
  11. aslanxnumx Offline aslanxnumx
    aslanxnumx (Aslan) 25 June 2022 10: 00
    0
    The USSR built aircraft carriers, but did Russia also build or is it going to? Galoshes seem to be easier to produce, but there is a big but ...
  12. Dengyu19880101 Offline Dengyu19880101
    Dengyu19880101 (邓宇19880101) 25 June 2022 18: 38
    0
    航空母舰需要国力做支撑,俄罗斯不具备这样的消耗