Well, I mean on proven is that steam ones is a proven tech. They have one in ex Melbourne for some time that they can toying around. However they are not developing further on that area, and as you have point goes to electro-magnetic tech.Steam catapults aren't proven in China. They've been working on adapting it to catapults for carriers (not a trivial problem, but they have lots of resources) for a long time, & are thought to have had an experimental one working for a few years.
The only reason I can think of for wanting to get rid of it is that it is a lemon. It is after all their first venture into building aircraft carriers and the ship it was based on an outdated Soviet design with a hull that was effectively just rescued from the breakers yard. The Chinese government originally stated that it was simply for research and training purposes and maybe that wasn't too far removed from the truth.Yes, it does seem ambitious. That's one of the reasons why I'm skeptical about the stories of Liaoning being sold or given to Pakistan. I think the PLAN won't want to get rid of a functional carrier in a hurry.
For a couple of days, already circulating on some blog and media in here on articles based on Chinese sources that by period of 2030-35, PLAN will have four Nuclear Carriers (which mean Type 003). While the conventional one, the type 002 will be build only one as transition CATOBAR carrier to Nuclear powered Type 003.
From what I read on Chinese online sources and media, they plan to used modified reactor design from the one being used in Type 094 SSBN.
Well, French also used modified SSBN reactor design on Charles de Gaule. And that's what my problem in believing on That 4 nuclear powered carriers by 2030-35.
French have problem in integration of that SSBN reactor based to their carrier. Even after sort it out, if not mistaken, it still considered bit underpowered.
Now, I don't have enough info and the reliability of type 094 reactors. However with the amount of patrols that still less than contemporary US, UK, French, and Russian SSBN, raised a question for me on the reliability of the reactor.
They should rely more on this type 002, build couple more, before goes to type 003 after a decade on successfully operating type 002 CATOBAR carriers. Thus give time on developing more realizable reactors for a 'Nimitz' size carriers that this Type 003 plan to be.
Despite their fast pace on development, PLAN so far seems only build proven design in big numbers. This talk on building and operating 4 Type 003 nuclear carriers with just around slightly more than a decade, seems not in line with more conventional progressing path that PLAN do so far.
On the topic of Liaoning transfered to Pakistan...If what those Chinese analysts statement can be used as cue on what PLAN planning for carriers force.. Then they don't really need Liaoning for much longer.
Despite my reservation on believing they will able on operating the first Type 003 Catobar Carriers by some time in mid 2020's (if they plan to stick on schedule of 4 type 003 in 2030-35 period)..if they somehow manage to do that..the type 001A and 002 will be used at their trial and transition Carriers.
Thus the type 001/Liaoning.. if based on that schedule, can be released after Type 001A and Type 002 fully operational within 2-5 years period. Not 2020 as the article mentioned, but somewhere between 2023-25.
Again this based on assumption that their Type 002 is successful as Catobar Carriers, and they have developed reliable reactors as propulsion for their Type 003 on schedule.
The question is..can Pakistan afford operating Liaoning ? It might be not as USN standard..but still can match India's modified ex Russian carrier, and that much delayed domestically build Italian design Carrier.
Hi KiwiRobYou can’t really call Liaoning an old ship, she was a zero hour hull, completely unused, unstressed, they gutted her, all that’s basically left from her days as Varyag is the hull and engines.
The 4 original Russian engines were still installed, just never used, they were entombed in greace to preserve them. The Chinese recommissioned then in 2011 and made them work properly, she doesn’t smoke like her sister.Nope, Chinese steam plant. AfAIK she arrived in China without any installed engine.
Interesting story.Exposed: How China Purchased Its First Aircraft Carrier
This article provides some interesting background ,and also on the negotiating tactics employed at the time
From what I understand the Chinese also acquired the blueprints for the partially completed than scrapped on the slipway Soviet nuclear powered aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk. She was built in the same yard.As with anything, if you throw enough money and manpower anything is possible.
I would believe the Chinese have been throwing both at her. She is probably in much better material condition than her Russian kin. The Chinese weren't just looking for a cheap carrier, they wanted to make their own, so would have a very extensive refurbishment, as to be able to build clones.
Probably not for the PLAN forum but if the cold war kept going for a few more years the Soviets would may of had maybe three large carriers and also four of the existing Kiev class carriers.From what I understand the Chinese also acquired the blueprints for the partially completed than scrapped on the slipway Soviet nuclear powered aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk. She was built in the same yard.