Chinese Aircraft Carrier Liaoning is Bigger, More Powerful and Cheaper than India's INS Vikramaditya

  • 12:00 AM, September 26, 2012
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Chinese Aircraft Carrier Liaoning is Bigger, More Powerful and Cheaper than India's INS Vikramaditya
As delays keep cropping up in the refitting of India’s aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya “gifted” by Russia, the Chinese Navy has received its first aircraft carrier, the Russian origin Liaoning which has nearly twice the aircraft and helicopter capacity of the Indian carrier. The Liaoning is designed to carry 30 fixed wing aircraft and 24 helicopter while the Vikramaditya can carry just 16 MiG-29K aircraft and 10 helicopters. The Chinese Navy took delivery of the refurbished ship yesterday. The Ukrainian carrier was purchased for $20 million in 1998 by a Hong Kong-based company called Chong Lot Travel Agency Ltd. The carrier was originally intended to be a casino until Chang Lot failed to acquire a license to run an offshore casino. In 2005, she was moved to a dry dock in China to be rebuilt. Chong Lot spent an additional $65 million transporting the ship to China. It is not known on what terms the Chinese Navy acquired the carrier from the Chang Lot gambling company and how much it spent on refitting it. In contrast, India acquired the Admiral Gorshkov (rechristened INS Vikramaditya) carrier for free as a “goodwill gesture” from Russia in 2008 but spent over $1 billion in a refurbishing contract given to the Russian shipyard. Negotiations to acquire the carrier had begun 5-7 years ago. China however, chose to rely on its own industries to rebuild the ship formerly known as the Varyag. China has been able to maintain complete secrecy about the indigenous equipment and systems it has installed in the carrier. The only information in the public domain is that the Chinese carrier has been equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Sea Eagle radars and weapons such as the Type 1030 CIWS main gun, and the FL-3000N missile system. The old anti-ship missile tubes have been plugged and are not expected to be used in an effort to free up internal space for storage. However, it is not yet known if China has put together a fleet of aircraft and pilots for carrier operations. According to China's Rear Admiral Yang Yi quoted in the Chinese media, the carrier will be used "for scientific research and training missions" in an effort to build "a more advanced aircraft carrier platform in the future". In anticipation of the Vikramaditya it has begun inducting MiG-29K naval fighter jets that will operate in STOBAR (short take-off but assisted recovery via arresting wires) mode. While the aircraft and helicopters are ready, the final deliver date of the carrier keeps getting postponed due to technical difficulties. The Vikramaditya is being fitted with a Global Marine communications system, Sperry Bridgemaster navigation radar, the P-500 Bazalt cruise missile launchers and four Antey Kinzhal surface-to-air missile launchers. Although India was scheduled to take delivery of the carrier later this year, reports suggest that it will be another five-six months before its ready to be inducted. By Defenseworld.net Team
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