Thursday, December 15, 2011

Satellite Takes Picture Of Chinese Carrier On The Move

The Varyag is actually Russian bought by the Chinese. While the picture is dramatic, China is not able to launch or recover aircraft from it. We take for granted the ability to launch and recover large aircraft, such as F-18s, from floating runways. In fact, the US was the only major power able to develop the steam catapult system required to get high-performance aircraft up to the necessary speed on a very short field. The Soviets compensated by using a VTOL aircraft, the Yak-38. It was a Soviet knock-off of the Harrier jump jet. The Yak-38 kill more Soviet pilots due to its inferior design and under-powered engine. Aircraft carriers are expensive, complicated pieces of technology. The advent of unmanned aerial vehicles makes this technology is an expensive endeavor to look like a super power. Aircraft carriers are also large targets out on the open sea and need support groups (consisting of cruisers, destroyers, frigates and attack submarines) to protect it. The picture shows China is determined to become a super power able to project its presence globally. However, it may be pursuing yesterday's technology.

Fox News

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