Tag Archives: 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)

Carriers on the move from the Liaoning to Hampton Roads

The first clear images of the Type 002 carrier, Shāndōng (17) have been released as the vessel was commissioned yesterday into PLAN service. The vessel, China’s second semi-operational flattop after the old Soviet-made Liaoning (ex-Varyag), and the first to be domestically-built, is conventionally-powered.

From the South China Morning Post

With a 70,000-ton displacement, she is larger than any other carrier in service save for nuclear-powered U.S. Nimitz and Ford-class supercarriers and is roughly about the same size as the old Forrestal-class CVAs– but only carry about half of the airwing. It is further argued that her airwing, restricted to a ski-jump, cannot maintain the same sortie rate as a U.S. ship.

Her commissioning was attended by President Xi Jinping, and it is expected the PLAN will have a four carrier fleet within a decade.

Meanwhile, PCU John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the U.S. Navy’s newest nuclear-powered Ford-class carrier, was quietly launched into the James River this week.

Chinese carrier ‘Liaoning’ looking more and more operational

The above footage, posted  last week by Chinese media, shows the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s only aircraft carrier, Liaoning, deploying with a couple of escorts at sea and moving around some Shenyang J-15 (China’s modded Su-33) fighters on deck. The blueberry camoed (oh come on!) crew even gets in some pretty decent flight ops in beautiful weather and calm seas.

Around the 3-minute mark there is a good bit of canned footage of self-defense weapons tests of a 30mm CIWS and a Flying Leopard 3000 Naval (FL-3000N) RAM-type system.

The 67,000-ton Admiral Kuznetsov-class strike carrier took some 29 years to build and switched hands at least three times during that process before the PLAN finally put her in fleet service in 2012.

The ski jump is very different…