At the end of March the Minister of Defence of the People's Republic of China Liang Guanglie confirmed plans of China for construction of aircraft carriers. Also in the Chinese mass media there were messages on a possible choice of gas-turbine installations of the Ukrainian production for equipment of the Chinese aircraft carriers.
The Ukrainian shipbuilding pinned until recently the main hopes for a survival on implementation of the program of construction of the new ship for Naval Forces of Ukraine of a class a corvette. With radical reduction of defensive expenses regarding development of new arms of military equipment (and the budget of this year doesn't assume financing of construction of a corvette) the potential of the Ukrainian shipbuilding can be used for implementation of "the Chinese dream".
China started buying up for a long time the foreign aircraft carriers removed from fighting watch. The first, in the form of scrap metal for $1,4 million, the Australian "Melbourne" became bought in 1994. Parts and the details of the ship cut on scrap metal, carefully were studied by technical specialists. In 1997 for $5 million the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser (TABKP) "Minsk" was acquired, TABKP "Kiev" became the following ($8,4 million). Both ships which have descended at the beginning of 1970-x from building berths of the Nikolaev shipyard, are used as the military museums in the cities of Shenzhen and Tianjin respectively.
Official information on what aircraft carriers China and when these ships will be entered into fighting structure of fleet while isn't present is going to build. According to one data, by 2015 China intends to construct the two first an aircraft carrier of middle class with the displacement of 50-60 thousand tons of c non-nuclear power plants, construction can already begin this year. In mass media it is claimed that the equipment for these two vessels is already bought in Russia. Military experts consider that Beijing is going to create own deck planes on the basis of the Chinese family of the fighters J11B/H with use of the Ukrainian technologies.
In 1999 China bought from Ukraine for $20 million the unfinished heavy aircraft carrying cruiser "Varangian" (readiness of the ship made 70%), which the Chong Lot Tourist and Amusement Agency company planned to convert under a floating casino in Macau.However the ship didn't turn into the entertaining center. In 2002 the aircraft carrier was towed off to Dalian (the large port and the shipbuilding center on North - the East of China, in the same place are large bases of the Chinese Naval Forces), and three years later on the Internet there were photos of the "Varangian" painted in gray colors of Naval Forces of China onboard whom works on its use as the full-fledged deck for take off and landing of planes and helicopters were conducted. Last year, according to mass media, the ship received the name Shi Lang and board number 83. Soon the Chinese military intend to finish modernization of former "Varangian" to use him for training of pilots of deck aircraft.
Participation of the Ukrainian experts in the Chinese project is represented quite logical. Construction of the Soviet aircraft carriers in Nikolaev was actively conducted up to the beginning 90-x at the Black Sea shipbuilding plant. The aircraft carrier of Naval Forces of the Russian Federation descended from building berths of the enterprise "Admiral Kuznetsov" only for today. The choice of gas-turbine installations of the Ukrainian production too is justified. Earlier Ukrainian engines were already used in a design Chinese voyenno - sea equipment.
So, DA80/DN80 engines (export UGT-25000 options) Nikolaev enterprise "Dawn — Mashproyekt" equipped class Guangzhou and Luyang II destroyers. Besides, the Ukrainian experts can give help in a complete set of Shi Lang and future aircraft carriers of the Chinese production. In particular, present divisions of the former scientific research institute "Kvant" (Kiev) specialize on development of sea radar stations, the scientific research institute "Gidropribor" is engaged in development of hydrospeaker systems. Except the help of the Ukrainian shipbuilders - if the relevant contract will be signed by "Ukrspetseksport" - we also have the only thing on the former Soviet Union the center of training of pilots of deck aircraft "THREAD". There pilots of "Admiral Kuznetsov" have training, training of the Indian pilots after receiving an aircraft carrier of "Vikramaditya" and the Chinese pilots of aircraft carrying group Shi Lang in the same place is possible.