The Liaoning ( Chinese 辽宁 号 航空母舰 , Pinyin Liáo níng Hào háng kōng mǔ jiàn ) is the first aircraft carrier of the Navy of the People's Republic of China . The ship belongs to the Admiral Kuznetsov class and was built under the name Riga , then Varyag for the Soviet Navy , but remained unfinished and was sold to China by Ukraine in 1998. There, despite what the Chinese government said to the contrary, the girder was completely renewed, equipped and left the port of Dalian for its first test drive on August 10, 2011 . On September 25, 2012, he was officially handed over to the Navy.
End of 1991, the strongest Russian Defense Ministry , the financing of the result of the restoration of Latvia's independence in Varyag renamed aircraft carrier set. The shipyard, which was now in Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, stopped work in January 1992 when the aircraft carrier was around 70% complete. Structurally, the ship was finished, but not yet equipped. There were no electronic systems or weapons. The total costs should be the equivalent of 2.4 billion US dollars , of which around 500 million dollars would have to be raised for completion.
Ownership of the carrier passed to Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union ; this did not provide any money for the further construction.
Ukraine looked in vain for a buyer in the mid-1990s and put the Varyag up for auction in 1998. An entrepreneur from Macau was awarded the contract for 20 million US dollars . He stated that he wanted to convert the ship into a floating hotel and casino, and military use was prohibited in the agreement. Contrary to the representations of both contracting parties, the ship's hull with the preserved propulsion system contained therein was handed over to the buyer.
In 2000 the Varyag was towed out of the shipyard. The Turkey harbored officially against the drive and rudderless ship security concerns and said so at first passage through the Bosporus . It was not until late 2001, after a million dollar security was provided, that the porter was allowed to pass through the street. Since the operators of the Suez Canal also refused to allow the porter to pass, the company dragged the Varyag around the Cape of Good Hope . In 2002 the ship reached Macau, but the entrepreneur could not show a casino license, the company's possessions were around 125,000 US dollars. It is widely believed that the casino operator was a front company of the Chinese People's Navy . The porter was not allowed to anchor off Macau and was laid up in a dry dock in Dalian .
Military use again
In 2005 the Liaoning was launched again, now painted in navy gray. The scaffolding around the bridge has been removed. After that, the ship was - interrupted by further stays in dry dock - at various piers in Dalian. Rumors that China could overhaul, complete and put the carrier into service were fueled by the numerous works. On January 19, 2011, it was reported that the ship was in fact nearing completion and would become the first aircraft carrier for the Chinese Navy. The first test drive took place on August 10, 2011. In December 2011, an American company took pictures of the ship at sea.
It is speculated that the carrier will be equipped with 20 Shenyang J-15 fighters and 20 helicopters. On September 25, 2012, the aircraft carrier was officially put into service by the Chinese Navy under the name Liaoning . Zhang Zheng has been the aircraft carrier's commander since September 2012.
In November 2012, a Shenyang J-15 aircraft landed on the aircraft carrier for the first time . This was a "symbol for the operational combat capability of an aircraft carrier", was then declared on Chinese state television. Since February 28, 2013, the aircraft carrier has been stationed at the new base in Dazhu Shan, 50 km southwest of Qingdao .
At the beginning of July 2013, the first pilots and a deck crew received clearance for landings on the aircraft carrier after they had carried out an undisclosed number of take-offs and landings during a 25-day training drive. On November 26, 2013, the aircraft carrier, accompanied by two frigates and two destroyers , set sail for its first exercise on the high seas and in the South China Sea , after all previous exercises had taken place in the Yellow Sea . During this exercise, the most serious incident between the Chinese and the US Navy since 2009 occurred in the South China Sea, when a dropship from the carrier group crossed the course of the guided missile cruiser Cowpens less than 500 m in front of it on December 5 , making the Cowpens one Evasive maneuver was forced. According to the Chinese Navy, the Cowpens had pursued and harassed the carrier association and had penetrated the inner, 45 km long defense perimeter of the group. The cowpens was in a position in which they could observe the carrier group well, and carried out observation measures. Both ships communicated with each other in a professional manner. Then the Cowpens left the defensive zone. While the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called the maneuver "irresponsible", the Chinese Navy stated that they strictly adhered to the applicable rules.
In November 2016, the ship was described in a press release as " combat ready " (German: "kampfready").
The Chinese Navy announced on December 15, 2016 that the ship had recently been used for the first time in full combat strength of its main armament as part of a naval formation in a major training maneuver. The cooperation with the fleet association should provide information about the further expansion of the carrier group. The entire carrier group obtained its provisional operational qualification in June 2018.
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