BEIJING, September 1 (ChinaMil) – According to various Japanese media reports quoting Chinese sources, China is currently building a second aircraft carrier in Dalian and it will be launched before the end of 2016. This aircraft carrier will serve in the South China Sea, said Russian military expert Vasily Kashin on the website of Sputnik News on August 31.
Kashin said that the structure of China's second aircraft carrier is somewhat like its first aircraft carrier Liaoning, which was transformed by China based on the Pr 1143.6 heavy aviation cruiser Varyag of the Soviet Navy.
The size, structure, and schematic for taking off from the flight deck of the second aircraft carrier are similar to that of the first aircraft carrier. However, its capability may be far higher than the first one.
The problem is, the "Big Brother" of the aircraft carrier Liaoning is Russia's only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. The service of Admiral Kuznetsov has revealed a number of major defects of its structure and such defects can only be fixed if the carrier is completely rebuilt. The most famous defect is the unreliable power plant which restricts the speed of the ship at times and requires frequent maintenance, said Kashin.
Another problem is that the size of aircraft elevators is too small. China's J-15 carrier-based aircraft is similar to the Su-33 fighter jet and it can barely get into the aircraft elevator from the hangar under the deck of the aircraft carrier.
In order to put fighter jets in the aircraft elevator and make sure the aircraft are not damaged, the highest level of art is required. If the aircraft elevator is damaged, the transportation of jets to the flight deck will be delayed, and the ability to send fighter jets of the aircraft carrier will be compromised.
These problems also spurred the Russian Navy to build a new generation of deck fighter jets based on the smaller MiG-29 fighter jets.
In addition, the unreasonable planning on indoor places at the Soviet aircraft carrier has reduced the number of aircraft deployed on the aircraft carrier, said Kashin.
Kashin also noted that deploying offensive missiles aboard the Soviet aircraft carrier will reduce the effective area of the hangar under the deck. All these defects come as a result of Soviet designers' lack of experience and clear visions about the use of the aircraft carrier.
He said that some problems may be fixed on the Liaoning aircraft carrier. But taking into account that when China was paying for the predecessor of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, the Varyag, the construction work had been completed between 65 to 70 percent, then the possibility of reconstruction is very small.
In the construction of a new aircraft carrier, these defects can be avoided. Thus, the structure of the second Chinese aircraft carrier may be substantially improved. The number of carrier-based aircraft may be substantially increased and more favorable conditions for these aircraft will be created, said Kashin.
Kashin said that the second Chinese aircraft carrier will serve in the South China Sea. Unlike Western aircraft carriers, the main role of the second aircraft carrier is to send power to the rest of the world, and provide security for Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarines stationed on Hainan Island in combat cruise in the South China Sea.
The roles of the Pr 1143.5 aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and Pr 1143.6 aircraft carrier Varyag of the Soviet Navy are nothing different, Kashin added.
(The article is translated from a report of Global Times on September 1, 2016. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military website.)