Wednesday, February 01, 2006

CHINESE DEVELOPING HOME-GROWN AIRCRAFT CARRIER

Uh Oh. China thinks that it needs an aircraft carrier to be taken seriously by the major military powers of the world. They're probably right and they may have it quicker than anyone could have anticipated....
But after double-digit increases in defense spending over much of the past 15 years, evidence is now emerging that China has a more ambitious timetable.

"I am convinced that before the end of this decade, we will see preparations for China to build its first indigenous aircraft carrier," said Rick Fisher, the Washington-based vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center and an expert on the Chinese military.

Fisher and other analysts note that extensive work now appears to be under way on a carrier purchased from Ukraine, the Varyag, now moored in the northern Chinese port of Dalian.

They speculate that the Varyag, fresh from the dry dock and, according to recent photographs, now painted in the navy's gray, could be used for training or even upgraded so that it was fully operational.

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