China close to completing a refurbished aircraft carrier

China has taken a major step toward commissioning its first aircraft carrier by largely completing the restoration of a derelict ship purchased from Ukraine

The restoration includes all living and working compartments, engines, navigation systems and power-generating equipment, Hong Kong-based Kanwa Asian Defense magazine said. Additional work is still needed on the elevator and flight deck, it said, but it was unclear when the restoration would be completed.

The U.S. Department of Defense has said it expects the ship to be relaunched at any time as a platform for training pilots – a major turning point in the military’s wide-ranging modernization drive.

Reports summarized on wikipedia indicate that China will probably have two new aircraft carriers built by 2015. It is not clear if they will be nuclear powered.

In late 2008, and through early 2009, there have been foreign reports that China will start building two 50,000-60,000 ton aircraft carriers due to be finished by 2015. Whether the two ships will be similar to the Varyag (ski jump) or American carriers (catapult) or even if these reports are accurate, is not yet known.

There are also some reports of a possibility of China building two nuclear powered aircraft carriers, though how reliable these are can be questioned. According to the Nippon News Network (NNN), research and development on the planned carriers is being carried out at a military research facility in Wuhan. NNN states that the actual carriers will be constructed at a shipyard in Shanghai. Kanwa Intelligence Review reports that the second carrier to be constructed will likely be assigned to Qingdao.

Reports are that China is working hard to build an estimated 5 aircraft carriers (between 2012 and 2020) will extend its military power to wherever the oceans reach

Five medium sized aircraft carriers will not be able to compete against the US in any direct matchup but it is more than any other regional power.

It was around 70 percent complete when the aircraft carrier was purchased from the Ukraine.

The Varyag is a ski jump-style carrier with a displacement of about 55,000 tons, much smaller than the Japan-based U.S. carrier George Washington, which has a displacement of more than 100,000 tons.

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