China's Carrier Back in Port


And she's back. That's China's aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag, returning to port from her latest sea trial, where she carried out "scientific testing," as China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, put it.. Since making her initial baby-steps into the ocean last August the ex-Varyag has spent about three weeks at sea, giving the world some great views of her steaming under her own power.

A news release by Xinhua about the ship's latest sea trial also revealed some very interesting new info about the indigenous technology that China had to develop for the ship, since it the carrier had been stripped of nearly all combat gear by the Ukranian government before it was sold to China. (Remember, we've seen the new air defense weapons and radars installed by the Chinese.) Notably, China had to develop it's own arrestor gear system for the ship:

The spokesman denied a report that Russia refused to sell aircraft carrier arrester wires to China, which delayed the aircraft carrier's launch. "The report was entirely groundless," Yang said.

He said China's armed forces adhere to the principle of independent innovation in the development of weapons and equipment.

"The main equipment for our aircraft carrier, including the arrester wires, were developed and converted on our own," he said.

The aircraft carrier was originally built by the former Soviet Union. It was not yet complete when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Ukraine disarmed it and removed its engines before selling it to China.

The vessel, measuring 304.5 meters long and 37 meters wide with a displacement of 58,500 metric tons, has been completely refitted for its new role as a research and training platform for China.

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