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For China Size, Not Quality, Matters As First Aircraft Carrier Launched

Tyler Durden's picture


In what is likely the biggest sabre being rattled this week in the war-of-words that is occurring in the Pacific, China announced today the launch of its first aircraft carrier. China bought the 300-meter Soviet-built vessel in 1998 from Ukraine and had it refitted at Dalian. It is named Liaoning (which looks almost too much like 'leaning') after China's northeast province where the port is located. The defense ministry said the aircraft carrier, is an important step in "raising the overall fighting capacity" of its naval forces.

Rear Admiral Yang Yi noted that "it is natural that China should have its own aircraft carrier," arguing that all major world powers already own similar vessels. Of course, the coincidental timing is no surprise as Reuters notes "China will never tolerate any bilateral actions by Japan that harm Chinese territorial sovereignty," Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun told his Japanese counterpart on Tuesday as the two met in a bid to ease tensions.



"Japan must banish illusions, undertake searching reflection and use concrete actions to amend its errors, returning to the consensus and understandings reached between our two countries' leaders."


Stratfor provides some more color on the current state-of-play (and some history)... as Taiwanese water-squirting was underway (no, seriously!!)



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Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:34 | 2830223 CreditcalMass
CreditcalMass's picture

Too bad they don't have any planes to fly off of it.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:37 | 2830236 spinone
Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:11 | 2830362 Precious
Precious's picture

This modern Chinese ship can launch 100 water balloons per second.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:15 | 2830375 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

Psychologist Steven Pinker contends that we have become a much less violent world society in the past several decades.  I was going to argue against that point but then I saw the video of opposing boats squirting each other with water and thought he might be on to something.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:22 | 2830394's picture

Chinese citizenism on the high seas.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:29 | 2830401 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Well, my aircraft carrier is way bigger, and its capable of squirting millions of Sea Men onto the Vage Beaches with the purpose of fighting their way up through the Uteral Canal to ultimately claim victory at Egg Harbor.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:24 | 2830571 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Chinese carrier has just scored its first sink: the NIKKEI.
Down 1.7% and in freefall.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:28 | 2830747 markmotive
markmotive's picture

World War III Began as a Water Fight



Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:45 | 2830781 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

typical pissing contest. . .

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:09 | 2830812 akak
akak's picture

Let's just hope the launch of the CS Chinese Citizenism is more successful than this:

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 05:48 | 2831094 Haywood Jablowme
Haywood Jablowme's picture

Yes, the good ole' maiden voyage clip....was waiting for someone to post that lol

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:09 | 2831727 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Russia is make crap boats - but is make good anchors... very very large anchors, is big to hold aircraft and crew!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:29 | 2830906 dugorama
dugorama's picture

as my grandmother used to tell me: "never get in a pissing contest with a skunk"

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:17 | 2831177 tonyw
tonyw's picture

Don't get into an argument with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and thay've got years of practice.


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:12 | 2831734 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Bubba is tell Boris "never piss on skunk with red boots". Bubba is senile, so is no make sense, but is still good advice, no?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:06 | 2830685 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:26 | 2830743 fourchan
fourchan's picture

they should work on conquring the world with dim sum, that shit is delishious.

is this that stupid fucking ramp boat they rolled out a while back?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:43 | 2830778 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

These ramp jobs seem a hell of allot simpler then the catopalts. Russian shit is all about simplicity. That is why the world uses thair rockets to launch shit into space now. 

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:42 | 2831004 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The world uses Russian shit because no one can afford US shit w/o a handout from Uncle Sam to cover the bill, which is conveniently printed up by Uncle Ben at no cost.

The US MIC would be decimated in an open market by actual competition and the removal of corruption and monopolisitic barriers to market entry.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:59 | 2831047 peter4805
peter4805's picture

Back when the US and the Soviet Union were engaged in the space race both countries discovered they had a small problem. It seems that pens will not write properly in a zero gravity environment. The US spent several years and many millions of dollars in research and developement. Eventually came up with a pen that worked properly in outer space. So what was the Russian solution? They used pencils instead.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:25 | 2831191 outofideas
outofideas's picture

Incidentally, that is actually an urban story. Fisher invented the space pen all on his own, with no NASA money, and sent them to the space program to try them out. NASA was using pencils before that. A couple of years later the Russians ordered 100 pens themselves from Fisher.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 08:05 | 2831266 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Furthermore, it's not a great idea to allow electrically conductive particles of graphite to float around in zero gravity near your spacecraft's electronics...

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:04 | 2830511 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

I'm actually really impressed that they got it to sea, based on the description of its initial condition (no engines/electronics/weapon systems).

Lots of lessons learned there, no doubt.   Odds are it'll be a maintenance nightmare and never fit to fight.   But the mistakes made and indigenous engines and electronics that get beta tested on there will end up on a more useable domestically produced second carrier.


I''ll bet the crew overflows the toilets if they're ever told to bring this one into combat though.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:25 | 2830576 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

I''ll bet the crew overflows the toilets if they're ever told to bring this one into combat though.

They can always shart the deck.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:36 | 2830608 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


I''ll bet the crew overflows the toilets if they're ever told to bring this one into combat though.

They can always shart the deck.

Frush toirets are unnecessariry comprex extravagance. To use the head, visuarize fright deck as 300 meter road.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:23 | 2830894 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

"What the fuck is a 'Frush'?"


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:38 | 2830614 YouAreBliss
YouAreBliss's picture

The second one in 2030.  In time to meet our PGS, and swarmbot fighter-bomber groups.

Good luck Commies.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:13 | 2830709 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


The second one in 2030.  In time to meet our PGS, and swarmbot fighter-bomber groups.

I believe those will all be occupied protecting the homeland's Purity Of Essence from indigenous terrist threats.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:55 | 2830803 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Its cute you think the USA will be a super power in 2030.  Where are we going to get the money in 18 years after trillion dollar plus per year deficits?  Dude, the chinese will just buy OUR air craft carriers and swarmbot figther-bomber groups.

Good luck bankrupt stupid fucking retarded crony capitalists.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:37 | 2830911 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Our interest payments to the Red Chinese on our debt they hold just about pay for their entire military budget;  So we send them our jobs, our IP, and sweet cash.  Golly, what the FUCK could ever go wrong with this plan? If I understand it correctly, it's brilliant.


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 09:32 | 2831556 Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

Actually, the solution is brilliant, albeit likely elusive to our either too ignorant or not ruthless enough dear leaders. Simply refuse to allow any foreign entity to buy domestic real assets. Print like mad, get all pensions out of treasuries, then renege on our debts. Fuck foreign holders of treasuries and dollars. Result, market enforced austerity as we're closed out of debt capital markets and newly lemon freshened national balanced sheet. Strategic default! All the cool guys are doing it!

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 13:51 | 2836072 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Are you retarded or what?  They already have the manufacturing plants of every fortune 500 company.  What do they need our paper for?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 04:18 | 2831058 toothpicker
toothpicker's picture

Same owners different flags

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:47 | 2830641 potlatch
potlatch's picture

See, there are bad wisecracks and off the cuff comments, and then there is this: a simple desciption of what China just hung around its neck.  One gigantic liability.


And if anyone responds, "yeah, so what does that make the US Navy?" someone needs to understand the difference between a military liability and a military asset.


This is one huge floating liability.  Suckers.  We arm race you long time!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:45 | 2830784 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

as if the complex US carriers are not a liability. China can afford to pay for it, the US is in debt to run its shit

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 01:26 | 2830954 vato poco
vato poco's picture

A country whose entire social and political stsus depends on the concept of 'face' (second only to 'family' and 'bribes') most certainly **cannot** afford to admit the loss of something so huge as an aircraft carrier. No China pol will ever risk his career/bank accounts/life by allowing it into _actual_ harm's way - as opposed to the current water fights.

That thing will never see combat.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 08:25 | 2831316 kralizec
kralizec's picture

"That thing will never see combat."

Truth.  You called it right, it is just a pretty girl on the arm of an ugly rich dude, pure window dressing, overcompensating for an obvious lack...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:09 | 2830976 uff the fluff
uff the fluff's picture

For the absolute last time people!


China is not some sort of debt-free Shangri-La of economic awesomeness heretofore never embodied on the planet Earth.


Yes, economic "growth" has required the creation of ever more fake-debt-money in America and Europe, but such is the case in China as well. Get a grip!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:17 | 2830985 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture


It's worse than that - we use the Bank of China credit card to fuel up our ships.

Sure we could take over Iranian oil fields or just fuel up at the Iraqi docks - but if we have to pay for anything, it's done with the BOC credit card or Uncle Bens free money printing press.

it's all such a fucking farce.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 11:00 | 2831988 toady
toady's picture

Nuclear powered ships require oil- based fuel? That argument is REAL old. Eisenhower figured that one out in 50's. The navy has enough nuclear powered ships to do what needs to be done.

Sure, a lot of the non-nuclear fleet would be out of luck in an oil-less environment, but I'm sure they have enough on hand to get the job done at any given moment. If anybody tried to cut the oil off they have enough fire power to take the oil.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 13:56 | 2836089 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Hey dipshit, did Ike invent nuclear powered planes as well?  And... take the oil?  So a few thousand sailors can surround a field, all the pipes, the terminals and the refineries too.  And if the enemy blows it up, they can just carry it away in their pockets.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:13 | 2831746 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

For QE3, America is borrow from self to fly flag!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:31 | 2830908 dugorama
dugorama's picture

all your destroyers are belong to us

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:37 | 2830912 Lore
Lore's picture

Maybe this is the next toy the Chinese Navy will show off in San Diego Harbour.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:02 | 2830669 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Statistics of late would suggest considerable caution if they are retaining that boat to transport recent massive gold bullion purchases.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:28 | 2830990 agNau
agNau's picture

SS Chitanic?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:55 | 2831046 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

That carrier will serve as a hunk of metal that is considered Chinese territory that can be sent to various locations.

Carriers are obsolete anyway, the Chinese are spenidng real money on subs and space weapons.

Carrier makes a good sacrificial lamb to justify hostilities, or weak foreign leaders.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 22:36 | 2834380 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

You will be even more surprised in <2 years from now. China will have the FIRST aircraft carrier completely made by themselves!

The West can laugh all they want. Yet, I bet NO one wants to engage a fight with China!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:26 | 2830408 chump666
chump666's picture

He said that? Pinker smokes too much dope.

Type beheading into Google (ala Mexico insanity)

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:35 | 2830431 NachoLiebor
NachoLiebor's picture

I'd be concerned when they brought out the shit-flinging catapults.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:13 | 2830693 akak
akak's picture

No doubt, given that the Chinese have about one billion of them.

Of course, they are going to need to do some serious target practice before becoming an ocean-going threat, as up to now their only targets have been Chinese roadsides at extreme close range.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:46 | 2830461 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

We were less violent in the 20's and 30's too. Pressure is just building. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:52 | 2830472 chump666
chump666's picture

True, kinda...

But we have become an acutely violent society, brutal and cruel.  Quagmire wars like Iraq and Afghanistan have brought out the worst in human brutality. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:42 | 2830610 chump666
chump666's picture

Then there are mofos who live in lala land...

But what can you do?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:49 | 2830791 chump666
chump666's picture

Just read review of Pinker's book re: violence has decreased, what the f*ck does that guy smoke? It's push button warfare and terror/psychological war, from drones blowing Afgan villagers into chunks of meat, to some crazed Mexican drug cartel member cutting a head off a live human and filming the footage and uploading it to a 'gore' site. As I said acute violence as opposed to all out war. But that is coming.

Jeez the guy's f*cking timing here (book) is way off..

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:42 | 2830915 Lore
Lore's picture

Sounds like typical ivory towerism. Any academic can publish a book.  Most schools would have gone T.U. long ago, but for the student loan racket.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:46 | 2831007 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

We are on the brink of PROVING this Pinkers thinking way off.

And the Federal Gov would agree

Thus the ammo-ing up with some 2 billion rounds being purchased.

The Empire will not go silently into the night but it will go, as all empires do.

As for China, one of their best assets is to have adversaries believe in their inability/incompetance - the "grey man" projection. Be careful of over-confidence when playing WeiChi with the Chinese (or Go with the Japanese)

People think they "know" something by writing or reading a book, and then a Galapagos shark comes along and takes your arm off, and you say "WTF, that wasn't in the book"

Violins, as SNL Gilda Radner would say, is about to go exponential.

Got Ammo?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:56 | 2830804 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

. . .clicked onward from your (pertinent) link, to this,

New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama's drones

New research shows the terrorizing impact of drones in Pakistan, false statements from US officials, and how it increases the terror threat

guess is all relative, hm.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:14 | 2830818 chump666
chump666's picture

We create the horror, even if we don't directly see it,  As opposed to Pinker's violence has deceased theory.  The horror is then looped back into our living rooms via the Internet.  You know the congressman killed in Libya? It was very, very quickly brushed aside. But footage then turned up on th net, of his dead body being dragged through onto the street. 

Then there is the absolute carnage in Mexico (drug wars), is a sadistic brutal carnage, of chopped up bodies etc.  Which is 100% connected to cocaine use in the States, again, we don't see it, unless you type in beheading into Google. Or some family out of Texas down there for a holiday, as there teenage daughter uses her iphone films (whilst driving down a freeway) a bunch of chainsawed bodies lying by the road.  True.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:47 | 2830924 Lore
Lore's picture

Yeah, it's interesting how the narco-wars keep getting marginalised even as the violence escalates. Scandal city, here we come.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:20 | 2830987 chump666
chump666's picture

I know.  back in the 1970's 80s in Miami, the brutality was allowed to continue, till the public were sick of the body count - and it was shut down.  Why? Banks, car dealers, real estate...everything boomed.  Same in Mexico.  Now we have HSBC funneling the funds into safe havens throughout the world.

Violence is our byproduct, our excess.  And it's as bad as you can imagine.  With the Fed and ECB, well they are about to turn it up a notch.  I'll bet if you asked the people in Spain what is making you go bananas, they would say "prices are going up"


Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:22 | 2831028 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Squirting bitches!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:12 | 2833088 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

Taleb has destroyed Pinker's feel-good-disneyland story

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:43 | 2830630 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Without China, the U.S. Armed Forces would not get paid.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:01 | 2830809 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:52 | 2830473 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

Gee, I wonder where they got the money to build it?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:05 | 2830517 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

Thanks, Steve Jobs!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:29 | 2830583 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Nah, Apple hasn't built printers since the venerable LaserWriter 8500.  That's a long time ago.  And even then, "Apple didn't build that!".

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:07 | 2830975 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture



China has 5k aircraft.


USA has 18k aircraft.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:47 | 2831008 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Looks like an old North American RE-5 Vigilante.

Although more than likely a copycat of some Russian fighter.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:37 | 2830237 spinone
spinone's picture


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:45 | 2830282 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

Oh, they do. They've already copied the designs of our stealth fighers. No sense in leading the way if you can't guarantee sole ownership of cool weaponry.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:07 | 2830514 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

If fact, that ship's already carrying a fleet of stealth planes. They're right there in the photograph. They're that advanced.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:53 | 2830311 Stuart
Stuart's picture

And if they do have planes, they're not old Soviet hand-me-downs that melt at high speed. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:44 | 2830457 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

Only the engines melt.  


You have to admire the design in a way.   Exotic materials, computer engine controls, and precision manufacturing were out of their reach.   So they considered the engine as a disposable component and ran with that.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:06 | 2830360 taxpayer102
taxpayer102's picture



China's Navy website,,  has info about the carrier and pictures of their newest aircraft.  It probably has links to their 'Marine Corps' and 'Coast Guard', too.  Many of their navy ships and latest fighter aircraft look very similar to ours.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:45 | 2830636 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Here's the satellite view of it being worked on in Dalian:,121.615167&spn=0.01,0.01&t=h&q=...

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:22 | 2830895 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

I'm impressed with the anti-torpedo net. Chinx don't miss much.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:12 | 2830543 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

You Wan Fookie Me. I Fookie You.

Fook MEEEEE!!!!!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:34 | 2830602 YouAreBliss
YouAreBliss's picture

Or pilots to fly them, or a catapult system to launch them, or Aegis class Cruisers, or Ageis Class destroyers, or Seawolf Nuclear Class subs to protect it, AND ONLY ONE.

By the time it becomes operational, our 11 Nimitz Class Carriers will be equiped with hundreds of F35 stealth fighters.   AND OUR OTHER 8 LCS, will have the F35s as well.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:07 | 2830694 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


By the time it becomes operational, our 11 Nimitz Class Carriers will be equiped with hundreds of F35 stealth fighters.   AND OUR OTHER 8 LCS, will have the F35s as well.

...and they'll all be sitting anchored in Chinese ports as collateral for loans.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:23 | 2830832 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

lol...  Do you think someone who has rung up this large of a tab has any intention of paying?  Do you think this hasn't been thought through?  At this point in the game, the U.S. is judgment proof...  the chinese and other countries are doing everything they can by using alternative currencies and pricing oil in currencies other than the dollar.  This is literally the entirety of their ability.

I'll also posit that China isn't going to fare particularly well in the global economic turmoil that ensues...  their economy is already in complete freefall and that's with cooked numbers.  In the end, they will have misallocated an incredible amount of capital just the same.  Moral hazard...  (except of course we're light years ahead on weapons systems).

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:10 | 2831021 trebuchet
trebuchet's picture

but not the ability to fight..............

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:04 | 2836126 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Hey stupid fuck.  What would you rather have -- a load of paper, or the manufacturing plants of every fortune 500 company, plus Europe's, plus Japans?  Take your time, or better yet, ask somone who can read and write.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 07:58 | 2831239 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

The Fed holds more US Debt than China.

Here, I'll say it again... THE FED HOLDS MORE US DEBT THAN CHINA.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:10 | 2830814 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

With what fucking money are we going to be buying all that expensive shit?  Obamabucks?

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:35 | 2830607 hunglow
hunglow's picture

Catching the number three wire the entire cruise with weps is the tricky part.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:30 | 2831033 Martel
Martel's picture

True, at this point in time. Eventually they are going to have carrier-based fighter jets, either their own Shenyang J-15 or the real thing, Sukhoi SU-33.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:34 | 2830226 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

This is not China specific, but--


All aircraft carriers in modern age of warfare =  functional equivalent of clay pigeons.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:38 | 2830244 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Well, that all depends on who you are fighting. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:44 | 2830277 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

So long as the opponent has the capacity to fire/sling/drive/ride/launch projectiles, particularly high velocity, explosive ones, I do believe aircraft carriers and other large naval surface ships might as well be literal sitting ducks.

I've read, heard and otherwise been "informed" of great advances in missile defense shields for the better part of life, and the projectile still has tactical superiority to any shield ever developed, with at least as much (and probably more) potential in terms of evolution of design and defeating said "shields."

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:44 | 2830454 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

Truthinsunsnine, I would love to give you a thumbs up but your arrows don't work.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:56 | 2830494 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

Hence the high number of aircraft carrier losses we sustained in Vietnam, Desert Srorm 1/2, or the Tanker War.

The US often fields aircraft carriers with aircraft.   And the doctrine is to use those aircraft to attack targets before they get within range of an aircraft carrier.....usually several hundred to a thousand miles before they get within range of an aircraft carrier.


A wild guess would be that if (when) they're used in a shooting war with Iran, there'll be waves of fighter-bombers from those carriers picking off first anti-aircraft missile sites, and then anti-ship missile sites from a comfortable 500 miles or so beyond the range of the closest Sunburn missile battery to the carrier they launched from.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:51 | 2830775 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture




I just don’t get the aircraft carrier thing, what I mean is wouldn’t it be a better return on investment to invest in anti-ship missiles or what not. Carriers are billions and billions and missiles are thousands and thousands (OK, 100’s of thousands).


I don’t care how good your defenses are if I send in a 100 missiles I’m betting maybe 2-3 get through – no? I’ll bet there will be not any carriers showing off in the Straights of Hormuz when the SHTF - too close for comfort.


I’m sure Russia and China would be dying to do some field tests of their “stuff” and you think we know what there “stuff” is. The world is probably sitting back just waiting for the world’s bully to get his ass kicked (not loose a war mind you) but at least get sucker punched in the face that he never saw coming.


Tell me … what would a bag or two of sand let loose out in low earth orbit do to all the satellites? Aah probably nothing .. its just sand.


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:54 | 2830800 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

SS-NX-26 Yakhont, Sunburn, Silkworm (upgraded, modern ones)...they're millions each, but yes, just one can literally destroy assets worth 100x their cost.

As others have pointed out, the main limiting factor of their capability is a relatively limited effective range, but this is a) less of a problem in a narrow strait such as Hormuz, and b) it is believed that they have been mounted to submersible platforms able to fire from open ocean positions (sneak & peak effectively extending their range).

Whether it's factually true or an exercise in intentional obfuscation, the top brass at the Pentagon/DoD and Navy have stated that such missile threats coupled with swarm fast boat attacks pose the most significant threats to carrier groups and naval vessels in general.

I do not know if the Chinese or Russians (or any nation) have achieved the ability to fire Moskits, Yakhonts or Sunburns from surfaced submarines, but that would seem to be a big deal if the primary method of neutralizing anti ship missiles is to seek out and destroy them beforehand.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:03 | 2831684 Chaos_Theory
Chaos_Theory's picture

It's not just the range of the missiles themselves.  They have to have accurate fire control (from radars) that pinpoint the location of the surface target.  That is a physics problem because their radars don't bend magically down around the Earth as they pass the horizon (except for random atmospheric conditions that can do just that).  So, it creates low-level gaps the moment the radar front passes the horizon. In other words, as early as 40 miles out, the Earth's curvature starts to bend down (you know, the whole the Earth isn't flat science thingie), so the true threat range isn't 200 nmi, it's around 40-50 nmi.  Those American F-18s and TLAM ranges are FAR greater than that, and with their tanker support, greater than even the max effective ranges of the missiles with magical physics-defeating radars. 

Oh, and the whole BS "China will repo the U.S. military equipment because they own the U.S. debt/pay U.S. bills" all realize the difference between .gov and civilian-run Ponzi schemes go, don't you?  In the latter, you have some small sliver of legal protection.  In the former, there will be a  reversion to the mean of geopolitics where the answer goes back 2600 years to the Hot Gates of Thermoplyae...Molon Labe.

(this will also be the point where the facade of Democracy, shining city on a hill, one-big globalized world will drop, replaced by a true Empire with no pretense of idealism, or concern about outright theft of resources using that military...heaven help us all at that point, especially Americans who openly disagree with the ugly reality)

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 22:55 | 2833208 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Curvature of the earth is an issue for surface to surface missiles, you say?

This isn't 1950, and there are "apps" for that (as well as GPS and other remote guidance tools), and some of the more sophisticated surface to surface missiles are even pre-programmed in the "old school" hard-wired way to use basic arithmetic to compensate for the degree of angle change.

There are actual videos out there showing such missiles literally skimming the ocean surface for far more than 40 or 50 nautical miles.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 10:02 | 2835228 Chaos_Theory
Chaos_Theory's picture

The issue isn't the missiles. It's the radars that first have to detect a target.  If the CD missile battery's radar doesn't detect anything, and no data link tracks are passed, it matters little how far the effective range the missile has.  It can be done with compensating modern tech, say airborne radars or satellites, but as the Chinese and others have shown, those things can be shot down too.  So, if things work with some other sensor detecting the ships, pass the target via datalinks to the missile battery, they absolutely can launch and get to a basket where they go active with the missile's sensor.  They are a threat in that case closer than 200 nmi, but still, that means that sensor must be forward and vulnerable to one thing the Americans do well...air-to-air shots.  Oh, and CIWS are bad ass and lethal against anything close in, which is why the PLAN is spending cash to outfit their advanced ships with them. 

Look, I realize alot of folks have a deep desire for the Americans to suffer a humiliating defeat, and look for the weapons that can do it.  The ballistic missile the PRC is touting may be the one, but I wouldn't bet the house on Sunburns to be the new Queen of the chessboard.  What would kill the Americans in a Persian Gulf fight would be thinking they had taken out the coastal defense cruise missiles, and then getting slammed by the small boat swarms if they transited the straits.  Against China, many have pointed out the big threat is launched underwater, not above it.  Besides, anyone stupid enough to pick a fight with China will be fighting on their turf and face the full spectrum of China's military power (improving air forces, increasing blue water navy, surface-to-surface missiles, cruise missiles) while lacking in what the attacker can bring to the fight based on logistics and lack of friendly territory from which to launch all those shiny planes and ships.  But, if I were the American President, I would manipulate a conflict with the hopes I could control it from escalation, and end it with a tense ceasefire, with no real geopolitical changes, and no resolution other than all that debt being voided, and Americans of all stripes demanding banning Chinese imports.  Then, I would be hailed for "being tough" with the Chinese, magically cutting the debt, and launching a modern manufactering renaissance...unless Mr. Murphy took charge and the conflict escalated to nuclear exchanges and a global nuclear winter.  Luckily, I can't be the American President unless I fake a birth certificate or something.

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:06 | 2836136 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Yep, and google Chinese sub surfaces inside carrier group undected.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:46 | 2830288 Cdad
Cdad's picture

I agree, generally, brother Truth.  However, the exception is the US in this regard.

Mark my words here....if China goes after Japan, and the US becomes involved...that Chinese aircraft carrier will be at the bottom of the sea before it makes 30 nautical miles out of port.  This, of course, if they finally equip it with aircraft.

We have much to be concerned about in this f'd up world...but Chinese military power is NOT one of the things that keeps me up at night.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:03 | 2830345's picture


Both South and North Korea were almost entirely occupied by United Nations forces. However, once American units neared the Yalu River and the frontier between North Korea and China, the Chinese intervened and drastically changed the character of the war. Eighth Army was decisively defeated at the Battle of the Chongchon River and forced to retreat all the way back to South Korea. The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history. General Walker was killed in a jeep accident and replaced by Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway. The overstretched Eighth Army suffered heavily with the Chinese offensive, who were able to benefit from shorter lines of communication and with rather casually deployed enemy forces. The Chinese broke through the American defenses despite American air supremacy and the Eighth Army and UN forces retreated hastily to avoid encirclement. The Chinese offensive continued pressing US forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:35 | 2830606 Bennie Noakes
Bennie Noakes's picture

Truman had greatly dismantled the US military by the time of the Korean war. Possibly he thought the atomic bomb would deter any aggressive moves against the US. But when the Russians exploded their own A-bomb, that idea was demolished.

Actually, based upon the poor performance of the US army in Korea, Stalin started making plans for a war with the US. Fortunately he was poisoned by his subordinates before he was able to start the war.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:44 | 2830631 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

It wasn't a dismantled Army that caused the US to get pushed back, it was the Chineses tactics. They send their troop's at a target like zombies, just one wave after the other until they win.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:58 | 2830657 Bennie Noakes
Bennie Noakes's picture

Human wave attacks only work when you have vastly superior numbers and your opponent is underarmed. With a sufficient number of machine guns, the Chinese soldiers would simply have been cut down like grass. Thanks to Truman, the US army didn't have enough soldiers or equipment in place to deal with the problem.

Edit: By the way, I didn't red-arrow you.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 01:24 | 2830948 Lore
Lore's picture

My uncle used to talk about his experience with Canadians during that scrap. His .30 glowed orange. The sheer numbers were unstoppable. He called them "a force of nature" and felt damn lucky to get out alive. Allied units had to retreat like hell. He never got over the experience. He had a very emotional experience going back 30 years later and meeting with vets from the other side. War is not a natural part of the human condition, no matter how the psychopaths glorify it.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 10:20 | 2831783 Chaos_Theory
Chaos_Theory's picture

Tactical discipline mattered.  Read "This Kind of War" for the best analytical details of that "police action."  For instance, the Chinese hordes initially overpowered the 8th Army and ROK units that failed basic tactical details like maintaining comms and position with supporting flank units, gaining and maintaining the high ground, using locals for intel, and how to conduct a unified fighting withdrawal.  That is detailed in the chapter called "the Gauntlet."  The opposite was the 1st Marine Division's actions from the Chosin Resevoir back to UN lines of control in what Puller called "hell, we're not retreating, we're fighting the other direction."  The Marines maintained their flanks, fought and gained the high ground, set-up company sized perimeters at night to hold off swarm night attacks, etc.  The results?  A division knocked out an entire PLA group army (10 divisions) for the duration of the conflict. 

Classic 1986 movie, Back to School

Professor Terguson: You remember that thing we had about 30 years ago called the Korean conflict? And how we failed to achieve victory? How come we didn't cross the 38th parallel and push those rice-eaters back to the Great Wall of China?
Professor Terguson: [rips a desk apart] Then take the fucking wall apart
Professor Terguson: brick by brick and nuke them back into the fucking stone age forever? Tell me why! How come? Say it! Say it!
Thornton Melon: [incensed] All right. I'll say it. 'Cause Truman was too much of a *pussy wimp* to let MacArthur go in there
Thornton Melon: and blow out those Commie bastards!
Professor Terguson: Good answer. Good answer. I like the way you think. I'm gonna be watching you.
Thornton Melon: [chuckling to his classmates] Good teacher. He really seems to care. About what I have no idea.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:42 | 2830627 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That was in the 50's.  In an unrelated recent study, there is bona fide research that says the average size of a mans genitals is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:19 | 2831026 Officefarmer
Officefarmer's picture

It's the plastic (i.e. BPA), pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and other pollutants in our water supply/food.

Too bad these developments (less testosterone, lower sperm counts and smaller genitals) only affects the developed world population and not Asia/Africa (yet).

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:35 | 2830760 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

8th army at the time was still a WW2 army and primary duty was occupation of Japan, not battle.



Eighth Army was to have participated in Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan. It would have taken part in Operation Coronet, the second phase of the invasion, which would have seen the invasion of the Kanto Plain on eastern Honsh?. However, instead of invading Japan, Eighth Army found itself in charge of occupying it peacefully. Occupation forces landed on 30 August 1945, assuming responsibility for occupying all of Japan at the beginning of 1946. Four quiet years then followed, during which the Eighth Army gradually deteriorated from a combat-ready fighting force into a somewhat soft, minimally-trained constabulary. Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker took command in 1948, and he tried to re-invigorate the Army's training, but he was largely unsuccessful. This situation was to have serious consequences in South Korea."

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:06 | 2830519 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

It's not their military which is scary. It's their manufacturing capability.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:24 | 2830573 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

They have nuclear ICBM's though.  Can we shoot them all down?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 03:31 | 2830625 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I'm not stating that there aren't situations whereby an aircraft carrier couldn't prove to be an effective, strategic military asset.

I am opining that with rapidly advancing missile technology, aircraft carriers and other large surface vessels are becoming less effective strategic military assets by the day, and will soon be rendered obsolete altogether.

As it stands now, there are a number of nations that spend a literal fraction of what the U.S. does on their militaries, yet who possess the present ability to inflict significant damage on U.S. carrier groups in asymmetric methods, despite the most advanced defensive capabilities the assets comprising these carrier groups possess.

In a similar manner, relatively inexpensive yet increasingly sophisticated drone technology is altering the battlefield paradigm in ways that have already rendered major pillars of conventional, long-standing military strategy functionally obsolete.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:44 | 2830632 HyperinflatmyNutts
HyperinflatmyNutts's picture

People r failing to see that China hold about 1.2 Trillion in US DEBT.  They could treaten to dump that US debt and keep the us on the sidelines.  

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:14 | 2830713 saturno_v
saturno_v's picture

The Fed would buy all the bonds sold....

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:14 | 2830714 saturno_v
saturno_v's picture

The Fed would buy all the bonds sold....

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:51 | 2830792 Mine Is Bigger
Mine Is Bigger's picture

I wonder though.  If you have that much owed, isn't it really your problem?  The U.S. could say, "Fine.  We'll just cancel only the treasurys you hold, but honor everyone else's."  Then, what can you do?  it's not even paper.  It's just digits.  They will be like ....    aaand it's gone!!!

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 00:45 | 2830922 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Confusious say, "If man owe bank 10,000 dolla, man have problem.  If man owe bank 10 million dollar, bank have problem."

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:35 | 2830229 Cdad
Cdad's picture

You know....I'm old enough now to have forgotten when folks started talking about the China military threat.  All these years later....ummmm....not so much.  

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:37 | 2830238 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Well...if it isn't built any better than anything else they make I will bet my tin foil hat thrown at the correct spot could take her down!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:49 | 2830299 XitSam
XitSam's picture

It seems it is not even nuclear powered. At least it isn't the Charles de Gaulle

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:38 | 2830241 The Watchman
The Watchman's picture

That's a big one!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:41 | 2830447 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

It's has all the markings of a mine shaft gap.

Mine Shaft Gap

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:19 | 2830730 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Homereich Security has raised the Precious Bodily Fluids terra alert level to magenta.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:34 | 2830757 akak
akak's picture

See Something, Say Something, Imprison Somebody.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:41 | 2830252 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Hold the freaking phone. China, the mighty manufacturing giant, can't build and outfit their own damn aircraft carrier? It would be humorous if it wasn't so damned pathetic. ROFL MAO MAO MAO!!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:55 | 2830315 Stuart
Stuart's picture

China's come along way since the "Sandpebbles".....


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:05 | 2830352 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

it seems to me they haven't changed one bit

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:09 | 2830366's picture

In The Sand Pebbles the US was operating old Spanish patrol boats acquired following the Spanish American War on the rivers of China circa 1927. Sand Pebble is a corruption of the name San Pablo. Not so far from China operating a refitted Ukrainian aircraft carrier.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:35 | 2830761 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Main Stim Wow.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:23 | 2830397 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

China got a bargain - the Ukraine didn't want (and couldn't afford) the cost of the carrier ordered by the old Soviet regime.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:08 | 2830530 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

No engines/radar/electronics/weapons.


"Have I got a deal for you!"

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 22:59 | 2834409 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

what bargain? China paid $20 million for ship, and spent another $5 million and almost 2 years to drag it back to China.

and if Ukraine kept it, would have to spend $250 million just to take it apart, will only gain $5 million for selling the parts.

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 21:01 | 2830640 YouAreBliss
YouAreBliss's picture

They bought it on Ebay from a Russian garage sale.  Nice.  It would be more effective if they kept the original plan and made it a casino filled with hookers.  They could have sailed it near DC and own the US, with free stays for Congress.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:40 | 2830253 Essential Nexus
Essential Nexus's picture

NO FAIR! Japanese water is radioactive!

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:12 | 2830373's picture

Beats the hell out of Greek fire.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:40 | 2830256 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

speaks volumes about the chinese navy. purchase an old busted hulk from russia under pretense of it being used as a gambling ship, and then re-outfit it for military usage. 

either the chinese are geniuses at saving money , or they're fools and cannot build their own carriers. 

somehow, for a country known for a lot of money being shovveled left and right, and lots of corruption, i'm somehow thinking they were not trying to save money on their first carrier. although, perhaps if this cheap warship works, it will be the model for them to build a whole set of them. 

it's well known they've built up their submarine fleet immensely over the past 5-10 years. so at least they understand their priorities. first control your own backyard with submarines and then start building up your offensive capabilities. it's very possible that the entire u.s. fleet in the south pacific is being followed by chinese submarines most of the time. 

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:44 | 2830271 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture's very possible that the entire u.s. fleet in the south pacific is being followed by chinese submarines most of the time.

which in turn are being shadowed by usa HKs.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:44 | 2830278 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Maybe the Chinese know better than to have weapons "made in China".

Pull trigger, trigger fall off... whaaa  ????

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:39 | 2830613 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Their AK's are better than Russian AK's. That's saying a lot, as the Russian AK is one hell of a rifle.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:45 | 2830281 DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

China needs aircraft carriers to protect supply lines from Africa.  China is balls deep in Africa.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:36 | 2830766 akak
akak's picture

So the Chinese are three inches deep into Africa?

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 02:41 | 2831002 Ms. Erable
Ms. Erable's picture


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:54 | 2830312 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Much as I love aircraft carriers I'm sorry to say that their heyday dissapeared

with the advent of nuclear powered subs.

Both the Russians and Chinese have specific carrier killer missile systems already deployed,

that currently no defece is available for.

The new German diesel electric boats are also quite capable of sneaking yjru'into a task force

screen ,and sinking them too.

Like ships of the line,and battleships the carriers future is behind them.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 19:59 | 2830331 Cdad
Cdad's picture

This is a flat out ignorant comment.  Period.  

I do confess, however, that I don't like you much, Winston, since you copped my avitar pic.

Both things being said, the ignorance comment stands.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:50 | 2830464 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

It's kind of true, in terms of Naval warfare they are gigantic hulking targets that need tremendous assets deployed to protect them.

Now if you want to oppress third world countries that haven't even figured out how to manufacture their own lightbulbs or 50cc motorcycles yet, then yes it's still the biggest cock on the walk.


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:21 | 2830564 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

How many missiles can be built for the price of one carrier? My money's on missile supremacy.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 23:49 | 2830861 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Perhaps this carrier can help the Chinese design their anti-ship ballistic missile system.


Tue, 09/25/2012 - 20:24 | 2830403 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Look at the ships in the Chinese navy.  More subs - albeit conventional diesel ones - than anything else.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:57 | 2830658 YouAreBliss
YouAreBliss's picture

The attack range of a CBG is far beyond ruskie and chicom missles.  That`s why the chicoms have been building the DF21.  Easier annouced then tested.  Deisels subs have limited range before giving themselves away.

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 22:33 | 2830754 Dburn
Dburn's picture

The reason we keep building Carriers that can be defeated so easily by a modern sub force is simple: They are/were floating air to ground superiority platforms for invading smaller countries. 

Plus ex-Presidents love seeing a multi-billion ship being built and sent off to sea to waste money as long as it has their name on it.  

That was true until the army hired a 19 year old drifter who was into video gaming . He personally took out more of the "enemy" in Afghanistan with drones than all the manned aircraft together for the entire time we have been in Afghanistan. That was enough to "ground" older pilots who are now sitting in comfy seats blowing the shit out of the enemies by day  and leaving to go home to dinner with family at night here in the states. The 19 year old Kid turned out to be pretty smart. After his "tour" was up, he started consulting with the Army as a Drone instructor at 10x the pay.

"Dude, have patience man. Don't  shoot Haji cause they have guns. You just blew the shit out of a wedding party. You are so flunked " the 35 year old former major who used to fly the hottest aircraft the US had to offer as the wealthy 22 year old blows a bubble with his new energy gum...

But we will keep building them and all the support ships that go with them at 12 billion a carrier group before planes and operating costs because we have to keep the Maine and Virginia ship yards humming. It's about jobs man, you know, jobs. "Yeah , that's the ticket" said the Shipbuilder lobbyists when confronted with the latest stats on Carrier vulnerability and obsolescence by video gamers and their flying death machines. 

William  Banzai :  Can we get some images of America being "protected" by millions of  flying drones with  target lists of all the ZHers houses. 


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