Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Asian Naval Buildup: Chinese Carrier Aspirations

The Japanese have their DDH under construction, a "helicopter destroyer" that is in the same class as VSTOL carriers operated by the Italian, Spanish, British, French and Indian navies. Now we hear more on the Chinese plans for an aircraft carrier. No doubt they have learned something useful from the purchase of the "floating casino" and wish to apply those lessons.

With the ever increasing Chinese surface fleet augmented by aircraft carriers and their submarines things could get more interesting in the Pacific Rim.

For size comoparison here is a photo from 1991 showing Spain's Princep-de-Asturias aircraft carrier (17,000 tons, 12 Harriers, 12 helicopters), US Wasp class amphibious assault ship and VSTOL aircraft and helicopter carrier (40,000 tons, 42 helicopters/AV8B Harriers), U.S. aircraft carrier ( Forrestal class - 80,000 tons, up to 90 fixed wing aircraft) and an Invincible class VSTOL aircraft carrier (20,000 tons, 9 Harriers and 12 helicopters) late of the United Kingdom now in decomissioned reserve.

More here.

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