On Frontpage : China bought the old Ukranian aircraft carrier, rusty as hell, without working engines, so they had to tow it back to China. But now it seems they are modernizing their entire fleet with entirely new ships and frigates. See the pictures on this page. I also have some updates on the 056 Corvette (ship) and the Xining Destroyer.

It was in this condition when they bought it *look* !


The Chinese Aircraft Carrier Liaoning CV16 conducts a nuclear radioactive countermeasure wash down to decontaminate the flight deck.

Above: A J-15 jet takes off from aircraft carrier Liaoning during Pacific drill.

The ship was laid down as Riga at Shipyard 444 (now Mykolaiv South) in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on December 6, 1985. Launched on December 4, 1988, the carrier was renamed Varyag in late 1990, after the famous cruiser. Construction ceased by 1992, with the ship structurally complete but without electronics.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the ownership was transferred to Ukraine.
Ukraine immediately began searching for possible customers. Four years later it got sold.
It was first bought for US$20 million by Chong Lot Travel Agency, a Hong Kong-based company. The ship would be converted into a floating hotel and casino in Macau, people were told. In February 2002 Chong Lot was not awarded casino licenses by Macau.
The People's Liberation Army Navy used Mr. Xu to purchase the vessel on its behalf, with the floating hotel and casino as a cover story to avoid offending the U.S. and not to place any Ukrainian concerns about potential military use. Nevertheless - China has it in prime condition now !
Xu reported that all four original engines of the propulsion system remained in place, preserved in grease seals, at the time of purchase, and before being tugged to China. A refit restored them to working order during 2011.

China bought it. As well as 40 tonnes of blueprints, shipped in 8 trucks to China.

China has bought 2 more aircraft carriers that they keep in prime condition. The Kiev and the Minsk. They are privately owned as a military amusement park and a floating hotel, but they could be refitted by Beijing at anytime, when they have the budget, although this now seems unlikely to happen. See the aircraft carrier Minsk's hangar deck, on picture below, with temporary bars along the sides- and notice that the flight deck is unaltered.

In 2008, Robert Karniol, the Asia editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, said: "The Chinese haven't seen this type of carrier before and it could be very useful to them. They are trying to vacuum up as much know-how as they can".

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, in January 2017

Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning returns to Qingdao, China after Pacific drill, January 13th, 2017. Comprised of aircraft carrier Liaoning, a number of destroyers, some J-15 carrier-based fighter jets and helicopters, the fleet sailed through the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China sea.

Crew of Liaoning watch shipboard helicopter take-off during Pacific drill.

Comprised of aircraft carrier Liaoning, a number of destroyers, some J-15 carrier-based fighter jets and helicopters, the fleet sailed through the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China sea.

The formation passed through the Miyakato, Bashi and Taiwan straits, according to the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

J-15 fighter jets carried out exercises including taking off and landing in different hydrological and meteorological conditions, air-combat tactics, air refueling, and others.

The drill verified the combat capability of the aircraft carrier formation and construction and command of the high sea combat system, the PLAN said.

Chen Yueqi, commander of the formation, said the drill simulated real combat as much as possible, and achieved expected results.

Future drills of Liaoning will be determined by actual situations, the PLAN said.

Liaoning aircraft carrier battle group conducts training in the South China Sea.

Deck crew of aircraft carrier Liaoning.

The newest of the Type-056 class to enter service.

The People's Liberation Army Navy has commissioned its 31st Type-056 class corvette, marking a new addition to the world's largest fleet of modern corvettes.

The CNS Ezhou with a hull number of 513 was delivered to the East Sea Fleet in a naval base in East China's Fujian province on Wednesday, PLA Daily reported, saying the ship will perform coastal patrol, fishery escort, anti-submarine and anti-ship operations.

It is the second ship that has been commissioned to the PLA Navy since the start of 2017, following the CNS Kaiyangxing, a Type-815A class electronic reconnaissance ship, which now belongs to the North Sea Fleet.

The newest of the Type-056 class to enter service, the Ezhou is 89 meters long and 11 m wide and has a full displacement of 1,254 metric tons. With a maximum speed of 52 km/h, the ship features good maneuverability, a high level of automation and stealth capability, and is capable of hitting aircraft, ships and submarines, the report added, noting it can carry one anti-submarine helicopter.

In addition to the Navy, the China Coast Guard is also attracted to the fast speed and reliable self-defense capacity of the Type-056 vessels and has introduced a number of such ships, which have appeared in operations near Huangyan Island and the Diaoyu Islands, the newspaper said.

China began to build the Type-056 class around 2012 to modernize its coastal defense flotillas that were composed of the antiquated Type-037 class corvettes, which were virtually submarine chasers, and some other old patrol boats.

The first Type-056 class ship, CNS Bengbu, was delivered to the East Sea Fleet in February 2013. Before the Ezhou, a total of 30 Type-056 class ships have been commissioned for the Navy, official statistics show.

Russia has the world's largest corvette group that consists of about 80 vessels, but most of them were built in the 1980s and 1990s and cannot compete with the Type-056 in terms of technology and equipment, defense observers said, adding that the Type-056 fleet is now the biggest force of modern corvettes of all navies.

Information from IHS Jane's Fighting Ships shows a Type-056 class corvette is armed with four YJ-83 anti-ship missile launchers, a 76-mm gun, two 30-mm cannons, two triple-barreled lightweight torpedo launchers, and an eight-cell HHQ-10 short-range anti-aircraft missile launcher. The industry publication also says that some of the Type-056 class vessels have enhanced anti-submarine capabilities with towed and variable-depth sonar.

According to a ranking by the British military website Naval Technology, the Type-056 is one of the world's top 10 best modern corvettes along with Sweden's Visby class and Germany's K130 Braunschweig class. The P18 is the export version of the Type 056. One P18 has been delivered to Nigeria, with additional units under construction for Bangladesh

Cao Weidong, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said despite the Type-056 class being smaller compared with frigates, it will be as powerful as frigates in battles in coastal waters thanks to its stealth design and strong firepower. Du Wenlong, an equipment expert at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said that in addition to coastal defense, Type-056 class ships can also help with long-range operations.

CHINESE NAVY [official numbers]

1 aircraft carrier
4 amphibious transport docks
32 landing ship tanks
31 landing ship medium
27 destroyers
48 frigates
30 corvettes
109 missile boats
94 submarine chasers
17 gunboats
29 mine countermeasure vessels
70 submarines
11 replenishment ships
(232 auxiliaries)

Chinas new guided missile destroyer, XINING (Jan-2017) !

The picture shows the guided-missile destroyer Xining (Hull 117) of the North China Sea Fleet under the PLA Navy.

BEIJING, Jan. 23 2017 -
-- The naming and commissioning ceremony of the new type guided-missile destroyer Xining (Hull 117) was held at a naval port of the North China Sea Fleet under the PLA Navy (PLAN) on Jan 22, 2017. The ceremony kicked off at 10 am. Rear Admiral Zhang Wendan, commander of the North China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, announced the order and presented the navy ensign and naming certificate for the new guided-missile destroyer Xining.

With hull number 117, Xining is a homegrown guided-missile destroyer integrated with many new types of weaponry. The destroyer has high informatization level, advanced stealth capability and electromagnetic compatibility. The destroyer is mainly responsible for formation command, regional air defense, anti-submarine warfare and other missions.
According to sources, Chinese navy's first generation of domestic guided-missile destroyer with hull number 108 was once also named Xining but the destroyer retired in 2013 after 33 years of service.

More on China Navy later. Please return.