China acquired an old vessel from Ukraine and refurbished it to be used strategically as a carrier. However, there was many a slip between the cup and the lip. Their country did not have the necessary aircraft capable of taking off the deck and after the training flight land on the deck. The old Communist ally, the Russian Federation came to China’s help with an offer of slightly inferior aircraft but capable of all other functions expected of an aircraft of the Air Arm of the blue water Navy. Russians also volunteered to train the Chinese pilots but for a consideration. As the negotiations are going on, the Chinese pilots of the newly acquired carrier are practicing landing and take off from an alternative playground. Indeed not a perfect environment for training naval pilots.
BLUE WATER NAVY
There is no denying the fact that China has acquired a Blue Water Navy status, notwithstanding PLA- Navy being a new Service, comparatively speaking. It was the sheer will power of the people of China and their leaders that saw them make commendable progress in raising the Navy from the scratch. The People’s Liberation Army is basically a land-based force that fought a civil war against the Kuomintang government and won their motherland on ground and conquered the hearts of their people through simple living and making sacrifices. The battles were lost or won on land by the ground forces and the then coast-hugging Navy of Kuomintang had no role to play. Chairman Mao Dzdong lived in caves during the civil war, ate the same food as his volunteer army won the country hands down. He, along with his comrades entered Beijing on 1st October 1949 and in the entire procedure saw no necessity to have a Navy. Indeed that explains why the People’s Republic of China did not have a regular Navy till recently.
STRATEGIC ROLE OF CARRIER
As stated heretofore the Chinese Admirals found long range missiles and missile boats quite effective. In their concept of a sea battle, the aircraft carrier will be like a sitting duck and, therefore, more of a liability than an asset. The country shelved the project of building an aircraft carrier until recently. In the revised Naval warfare strategy and the spirit of keeping up with the Joneses, China chose to go in for an aircraft carrier group for safety and security. One aircraft carrier would be very vulnerable to an enemy attack. To divert the attention and resources of the enemy, put a group of three aircraft carriers on sea. Of course, the flotilla would have a full complement of accompanying ships and sub-marines for protection and counter-attack. China has been able to launch only one carrier on September 25, 2012 and that too has been marked as a training ship because of its deficiencies as a combat ship.
Indeed one needs patience and long life to see other two carriers being launched to supplement as the correct complement of the present strength of the aircraft carrier group.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
View more jobs