Tag Archives: carrier Liaoning

‘Cognitive Warfare’ and Chinese Aircraft Carriers

A recent photo of the CO and XO of the Flight IIA Burke-class destroyer USS Mustin (DDG-89) observing the Chinese Type 001 (Kuznetsov-class) aircraft carrier Liaoning (16)  off the warship’s port side bridge wing is getting lots of heartburn in the Western Pacific.

PHILIPPINE SEA (April 4, 2021) CDR Robert J. Briggs and CDR Richard D. Slye monitor surface contacts from the pilothouse of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin. Mustin is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo 210404-N-YA628-2309 by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Arthur Rosen)

Largely because of editorial cartoons such as this:

From the South China Morning Post: 

“In the photo, Commander Briggs looks very relaxed with his feet up watching the Liaoning ship just a few thousand yards away, while his deputy is also sitting beside him, showing they take their PLA counterparts lightly,” said Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung. “This staged photograph is definitely ‘cognitive warfare’ to show the US doesn’t regard the PLA as an immediate threat.”

The Australian Financial Review: 

The US Navy has released a provocative photo showing senior officers watching a Chinese warship as China and the United States flex their maritime muscle in the East and South China Sea.

The Taiwan News: 

A researcher at the Beijing-based Yuan Wang think tank conceded to the newspaper that there is still a “big gap between the US and Chinese aircraft carrier strike groups.” Meanwhile, Kanwa Defence Review editor-in-chief Andrei Chang asserted the photo was meant to serve as a “warning to the PLA” that the U.S. was fully aware of the carrier group’s movements.

Meanwhile, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group [USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Russell (DDG 59)] and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group [USS Makin Island (LHD 8), USS Somerset (LPD 25), USS San Diego (LPD 22)] with the 15th MEU embarked, recently joined forces in the South China Sea to conduct Expeditionary Strike Force operations. 

SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 9, 2021) The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea April 9, 2021. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) are conducting expeditionary strike force operations during their deployments to the 7th Fleet area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Terence Deleon Guerrero)

Chinese in the Naval Air Business now

These photos were released today by the Chinese military of the first “Official” landings and take offs from the 53,000-ton PLAN ship Liaoning CV-16.

The pilot who achieved the first landing was allegedly Dai Mingmeng.

Originally laid down as the Admiral Kuznetsov class multirole aircraft carrier Riga for the Soviet Navy, she was launched on December 4, 1988 and renamed Varyag in 1990. The ship was purchased in 1998 by the People’s Republic of China (reportedly for use as an amusement park) and towed to Dalian Shipyard in north eastern China. After extensive refit and sea trials, the ship was commissioned into the PLAN as Liaoning on September 25, 2012. Now with her hull 27 years old, she has landed her first carrier-capable fighter aircraft. The crew looks very professional and very…..NATO…down to the color coded float-coats.

The plane with the groovy camo is a Shenyang J-15 ( also known as Flying Shark) which is thought based on a reversed engineered Ukrainian supplied and Russian-designed Sukhoi Su-33 and is fitted with domestically produced radars and weapons. Its a Gen 4.5 fighter and allegedly has a 10% superior thrust to weight ratio and a 25% lower wing loading than the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet– the plane it would most likely fly against. The PLANAF only has 16 of these planes so far in one experimental squadron on a patchwork carrier, while the USN has about 500 F-18E/F’s in 33 squadrons ready to fly from 10 experienced nuclear aircraft carriers.

….for now….