Liaoning (ship)

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PLAN Liaoning
PLAN Liaoning
Ship data
flag ChinaPeople's Republic of China (naval war flag) China
other ship names
  • Riga
  • Varyag
Ship type Aircraft carrier
class Project 1143.5
Shipyard Shipyard 444 Mykolaiv
Keel laying December 6, 1985
Launch November 25, 1988
Commissioning September 25, 2012
Ship dimensions and crew
306.45 m ( Lüa )
270 m ( KWL )
width Flight deck: 71.96 m
displacement 67,500 t
crew 1,500
Machine system
machine 8 steam boilers
4 steam turbines
200,000 PS (147,100 kW)
29 kn (54 km / h)
propeller 4th

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.



The aircraft carrier was laid down as Riga in December 1985 in Nikolaev on the Black Sea . It was launched in November or December 1988.

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.


The Varyag passing through the Bosporus

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

The ex- Varyag in summer 2012 in the Chinese port of Dalian

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.

Training operation

For training purposes, the Chinese navy in was in a research facility Wuhan , a mock-up built the aircraft carrier on the mainland. ( 30 ° 25 ′ 20.9 ″  N , 114 ° 15 ′ 43.6 ″  E )

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.

Web links

Commons : Liaoning  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Stephen Saunders: Jane's Fighting Ships, Edition 2015-2016 . United Kingdom, 2015. p. 135.
  2. a b Guo Yuandan: China's aircraft carrier uses real weapons in drill. Global Times, December 16, 2016, p. 3 , accessed December 19, 2016 .
  3. First Chinese aircraft carrier goes on a test drive. In: , August 10, 2011.
  4. First aircraft carrier strengthens China's navy. Retrieved September 25, 2012 .
  5. ^ Mission impossible: How one man bought China its first aircraft carrier. In: South China Morning Post , January 19, 2015 (English). Retrieved February 11, 2015
  6. ^ Varyag Aircraft Carrier. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 9, 2013 ; Retrieved on May 5, 2012 (English, Warjag on sinodefence): “However, the Turkish government refused the vessel to pass through the Bosporus Strait on the ground that without rudder and engine, Varyag posed too great a danger to other ships as well as facilities in the strait. "
  7. Alexander A. Sergounin, Sergey V. Subbotin: Russian arms transfers to East Asia in the 1990s. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999, ISBN 0-19-829576-6 , p. 82.
  8. Andrew S. Erickson: China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force. US Naval Institute Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-59114-326-0 , pp. 238ff.
  9. China's mass army is changing into a high-tech force. on:
  10. China celebrates first aircraft carrier trip. on: Spiegel Online , accessed August 10, 2011.
  11. US satellite photographs Chinese aircraft carriers. (No longer available online.) In: Norddeutscher Rundfunk, December 15, 2011, archived from the original on December 15, 2011 ; accessed on December 15, 2011 : "An American satellite company has succeeded in taking photos of the Chinese aircraft carrier 'Varyag'."
  12. Zhang Zheng, commander of China's first aircraft carrier. ( Memento from June 30, 2013 in the web archive ), September 27, 2012.
  13. China prepares first aircraft carrier for operations., accessed on November 25, 2012 .
  15. China certifies first aircraft carrier pilots. Flightglobal, July 4, 2013, accessed December 23, 2013
  16. UPDATE 1-China carrier steams towards disputed South China Sea for drills. Reuters November 26, 2013, accessed December 23, 2013
  17. ^ A b Carl Thayer: USS Cowpens Incident Reveals Strategic Mistrust Between US and China. The Diplomat, December 17, 2013, accessed January 7, 2014 .
  18. a b Barbara Starr: US, Chinese warships come dangerously close. CNN, December 13, 2013, accessed January 7, 2014 .
  19. ^ Bill Gertz: Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force US Warship to Stop in International Waters. Landing ship sailed dangerously close to US guided missile cruiser. The Washington free beacon, December 13, 2013, accessed January 7, 2014 .
  20. ^ USS Cowpens-Liaoning incident 'normal': US. Global Times , December 18, 2013, accessed January 7, 2014 .
  21. Hagel: China warship action 'irresponsible'. BBC News , December 13, 2013, accessed January 7, 2014 .
  22. ^ Gabriel Dominguez, Andrew Tate: China's first aircraft carrier now 'combat ready', say Chinese media. (No longer available online.) Jane's Information Group , November 16, 2016, archived from the original on November 17, 2016 ; accessed on November 16, 2016 .
  23. Liaoning carrier group reaches initial operational capability, Janes, June 4, 2018