Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning
|→ Soviet Union → Ukraine|
|Namesake:||Imperial Russian cruiser Varyag|
|Laid down:||December 6, 1985|
|Launched:||December 4, 1988|
|Completed:||Abandoned (68% complete)|
|Fate:||Sold to the Chinese Navy|
|People's Republic of China|
|Builder:||Dalian Shipbuilding Industry|
|Commissioned:||September 25, 2012|
|Status:||In active service|
|General characteristics for Varyag as originally designed|
|Class and type:||Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier|
|Draft:||8.97 m (29.4 ft)|
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)|
|Range:||3,850 nautical miles (7,130 km; 4,430 mi) at 32 knots|
|General characteristics for Liaoning after refit|
|Class and type:||Type 001|
Liaoning (16; Chinese: 辽宁舰; pinyin: Liáoníng Jiàn) is the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. It is classified as a training ship, intended to allow the Navy to practice with carrier usage.
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 stripped hulk was purchased in 1998 by the People's Republic of China and towed to Dalian shipyard in northeast China. After being completely rebuilt and undergoing sea trials, the ship was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as Liaoning with the class name Type 001 on September 25, 2012. In November 2016, the political commissar of Liaoning, Senior Captain Li Dongyou, stated that Liaoning was combat ready.
Often referred to as an aircraft carrier, the vessel was officially classified by her Soviet builders as "тяжёлый авианесущий крейсер" tyazholiy avianesushchiy kreyser (TAKR or TAVKR) "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser." The Soviet Union argued that the ships were not aircraft carriers under the Montreux Convention and not subject to the 15,000 ton limit imposed on aircraft carriers traveling through the Bosphorus. No signatory to the Montreux Convention objected to their designation as aircraft cruisers, and Turkey allowed the Kuznetsov class to transit the Straits.
The Chinese Navy considers the ship to be an aircraft carrier  and unlike the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which carries surface-attack cruise missiles usually found on cruisers, Liaoning is equipped only with air defense weapons and must use its aircraft for surface attack.
The ship was laid down as Riga at Shipyard 444 (now Mykolaiv South) in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on December 6, 1985. Design work was undertaken by the Nevskoye Planning and Design Bureau. Launched on December 4, 1988, the carrier was renamed Varyag in late 1990, after the famous cruiser.
Construction ceased by 1992, with the ship structurally complete but without electronics. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, ownership was transferred to Ukraine; the ship was laid up, unmaintained. Ukraine immediately began searching for possible customers, and made overtures to China, which sent a high-level expert delegation in 1992. Although the delegation made a positive report on the condition of the ship, recommending a purchase, the Beijing leadership declined because of the international diplomatic situation at the time. Nevertheless, the People's Liberation Army Navy did not lose interest, and four years later took an independent initiative for a commercial purchase.
In April 1998, Ukrainian Trade Minister Roman Shpek announced the winning bid of US$20 million from Chong Lot Travel Agency, a Hong Kong-based company, which proposed to tow Varyag out of the Black Sea, through the Suez Canal and around southern Asia to Macau, where the ship would be moored and converted into a floating hotel and casino, similar to Kiev in Tianjin and Minsk at Minsk World in Shenzhen. Before the auction was closed, officials in Macau had warned Chong Lot that it would not be permitted to berth Varyag in the harbor. Chong Lot is owned by Chin Luck Holdings Company of Hong Kong. The sale of the carrier was successfully closed in 1998.
In January 2015, further details of the transaction emerged from an interview with Xu Zengping by the South China Morning Post. Xu reported that he was commissioned by the PLAN to purchase the vessel on its behalf, with the floating hotel and casino as a cover story to avoid offending the U.S. and to placate Ukrainian concerns about potential military use. He was warned that there was significant risk from the lack of both a navy budget and support of Beijing for the purchase. Nevertheless, in 1998 Xu was so impressed when he boarded the ship in Mykolaiv, that he resolved to purchase it using his personal funds despite the risks. The previous year, Xu had already spent HK$6 million creating a Macau shell company, Agencia Turistica e Diversoes Chong Lot, having borrowed HK$230 million from a Hong Kong business friend. He described a harrowing negotiation in Kiev, lubricated by bribery and liquor, which helped to arrange victory at the auction. As a precaution, the next day he shipped the 40 tonnes of blueprints for the carrier overland to China in eight trucks. There also was a charge of US$10 million for late payment due to difficulties raising the funds during the Asian financial crisis.
Transfer to China
The passage from Ukraine to China was even more problematic than the purchase. In mid-2000, the Dutch International Transport Contractors tugboat Suhaili with a Filipino crew was hired to take Varyag under tow. Chong Lot could not get permission from Turkey to transit the dangerous Bosphorus strait; under the Montreux Treaty of 1936 Turkey is obligated to permit free passage, but has certain sovereignty and refusal rights. The hulk spent 16 months under tow circling in the Black Sea while high-level PRC officials negotiated on Chong Lot's behalf, offering Chinese tourism as an incentive to permit the ship's passage. In late 2001, Turkey relented from its position that the vessel posed too great a danger to maritime traffic of the Bosphorus, allowing the transit. On November 2, Varyag, escorted by 27 other vessels, completed its six-hour passage through the Dardanelles without incident, making for Çanakkale at 5.8 knots (10.7 km/h; 6.7 mph).
On November 4, Varyag was caught in a force 10 gale and broke adrift while passing the Greek island of Skyros. Sea rescue workers tried to re-secure the hulk as it drifted toward the island of Euboea. A seven-member crew remained on board as six tugboats tried to re-establish their tow. After many failed attempts to reattach the lines, a Greek coast guard helicopter landed on Varyag and picked up the seven crew members. One tug managed to make a line fast to the ship that day, but high winds severely hampered efforts to secure the ship. On November 6, a sailor from the tug Haliva Champion, died after a fall while attempting to reattach the tow lines; the hulk was taken back under tow on the same day.
The Suez Canal does not permit passage of "dead" ships – those without an on-board power source – so the hulk was towed through the Strait of Gibraltar, around the Cape of Good Hope, and through the Straits of Malacca at an average speed of 6 knots (11 km/h) across the 15,200-nautical-mile (28,200 km) journey, calling for supplies at Piraeus, Greece; Las Palmas, Canary Islands; Maputo, Mozambique; and Singapore en route. It entered Chinese waters on February 20, 2002, and arrived March 3 at Dalian Shipyard in northeast China. The costs included $25 million to the Ukrainian government for the hull, nearly $500,000 in transit fees and $5 million for the towing. While public statements claimed Varyag was to become a casino, in February 2002 Chong Lot was not awarded casino licenses by Macau.
Xu Zengping, the impresario for the whole process from 1996 to 1999, estimated in 2015 the total cost out of his own pocket to be at least US$120 million. He insisted that he has received no reimbursement at all from China, and has spent the last 18 years repaying his debts, in part by selling properties including his palatial home. A source familiar with the acquisition offered the explanation that many of the naval officials initiating the mission had either died or were in jail.
Contrary to information that had been disseminated by Beijing, Xu reported that all four original engines of the propulsion system remained in place preserved in grease seals at the time of purchase and removal to China. A refit restored them to working order in 2011.
Modernization and refit
In 2008, Robert Karniol, the Asia editor of Jane's Defence Weekly, said: "The Chinese haven't seen this type of carrier before and it could be very useful to them. They are trying to vacuum up as much know-how as they can". Liu Huaqing, a senior admiral of the PLAN and proponent of naval modernization, has spoken of the 21st century as the "century of the sea" and called for naval modernization over several decades.
Varyag was moved in June 2005 to a dry dock at Dalian ( ). Her hull was sandblasted, scaffolding erected, and the ship's island was painted in a red marine primer to treat metal corrosion. On October 24, 2006, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Russia planned to sell up to 50 Sukhoi Su-33 fighters to China through Rosoboronexport, in a $2.5 billion deal. In March 2009 Moskovskij Komsomolets reported that negotiations had collapsed over Russian fears that China might undercut Russian exports by producing cheaper versions of the Su-33 equipped with Chinese systems, similar to the development of the Shenyang J-11 from the Sukhoi Su-27.
In 2007, Jane's Fighting Ships stated that the ship would possibly be named Shi Lang and assigned pennant number 83, but that these were unconfirmed. Jane's Navy International noted in October 2007 that "refurbishment work and fitting out is continuing and the vessel is expected to begin initial sea trials in 2008". At the end of 2008, the Asahi Shimbun reported that the carrier was "nearing completion". On April 27, 2009, the carrier was reported to have been moved into another dry dock, "to install engines and other heavy equipment". Sensors that have been observed are Type 348 active electronically scanned array (AESA) Radar (four arrays) and Sea Eagle radar. Weapons observed have been the Type 1030 CIWS, and the FL-3000N missile system. It has also been observed that the old anti-ship missile tubes would not be used, freeing up internal space for hangar or storage use. Russia has similar plans to modernize her sister ship Admiral Kuznetsov.
In 2009, the PLAN constructed a full scale logistics, training deck and island mock-up at the Wuhan Naval Research facilities near Huangjia Lake, Wuhan. On June 8, 2011, the Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, Gen. Chen Bingde made the first acknowledgement of the ship's existence from China's armed forces, stating that the carrier "is being built, but has not been completed." The ship would be used for training and as a model for a future indigenously-built ship. Qi Jianguo, assistant to the chief of the PLA's general staff said "All of the great nations in the world own aircraft carriers — they are symbols of a great power." On July 27, 2011, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced it was refitting the vessel for "scientific research, experiment and training".
Sea trials and handover
|Wikinews has related news: China sends its first aircraft carrier to sea|
On 10 August 2011, the ex-Varyag began sea trials. An RSIS analyst noted that China still had a long way to go to make her operational, but was determined to do so. On 15 August 2011, she docked in Dalian, completing her first four-day sea trial. On 29 November 2011 the carrier left port for her second set of trials. In December 2011 the ship was photographed by satellite while undertaking sea trials. The carrier completed her eighth sea trial between 7 June and 21 June 2012 and returned to Dalian. In July 2012, the ship set out for the longest sea trials thus far, 25 days, and there was speculation that this would have involved testing the launching and recovery of aircraft.
The carrier completed sea trials in early August 2012 and loaded Shenyang J-15 aircraft and KJ-88, YJ-83K, and YJ-91 missiles in preparation for weapons systems trials. Reuters analysis suggested the role of the ship would be mostly training and evaluation ahead of the building of domestic carriers, with only a limited operational role. Flight control software, avionics, weapons and radars were yet undeveloped. Reuters reported PLA officers stating the carrier was far from operational with extensive further trials and exercises required.
On 23 September 2012, the aircraft carrier was handed over to the PLAN, and was commissioned on 25 September 2012. At the commissioning ceremony, the carrier was officially named Liaoning, in honour of the province in which she was retrofitted. On 26 December 2012, the People's Daily reported that it would take four to five years for the Liaoning to reach full capacity, mainly due to training and coordination requirements related to this being the first operational aircraft carrier in the PLAN's possession. As it is currently a training ship, Liaoning is not assigned to any of China's operational fleets.
On 7 April 2014, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel became the first foreign visitor to take a tour of Liaoning during a wider trip to China to discuss cybersecurity and address China's military buildup in the East China Sea. Secretary Hagel had asked to see the ship in early 2014, and the request was accepted in advance of his arrival. Hagel and a number of his staff toured the vessel at Yuchi Naval Base, observing the medical facilities, living quarters, flight deck, bridge, and flight control station. They received a briefing about the carrier and also had refreshments with junior officers. The U.S. Department of Defense said that Secretary Hagel was pleased to visit Liaoning and was impressed by the professionalism of the officers and crew.
During sea trials, Liaoning experienced a steam burst in the engine compartment which forced crew to evacuate some parts of the ship, and the ship lost power. The problem was ultimately resolved and power was restored, although the time duration of the problem has not been released by military officials.
According to geopolitical analysts, China could use Liaoning and its future carriers to intimidate other smaller countries that have territorial claims in the South China Sea, as well as extending air control further south of the disputed region. In December 2016 the ship exercised in the Western Pacific, including passing through the Miyako Strait between the Japanese islands of Miyako-jima and Okinawa.
On 4 November 2012, the People's Liberation Army's website (Chinese: 中国军网) reported that Shenyang J-15s had performed carrier touch-and-go training. On 25 November 2012, China announced that J-15s had made five successful arrested landings on Liaoning. In June 2013, a second round of flight tests began on board Liaoning, with personnel from the fleet air arm of the Brazilian Navy providing carrier training support to the PLAN.
In August 2014, based on an article from Chinese state media, western news outlets reported that two pilots had been killed testing jets slated to operate from Liaoning. Chinese military officials stated such reports were misleading, and clarified that deaths were in fact unrelated with tests on the carrier. The original Chinese article from Xinhua also did not link the deaths with the J-15 nor mention any loss of such aircraft.
In August 2014, the Chinese-language Shanghai Morning Post listed that Liaoning would carry 36 aircraft: 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, six Changhe Z-18F anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, four Changhe Z-18J airborne early warning helicopters and two Harbin Z-9C rescue helicopters. The Chinese carrier aircraft inventory is similar to a balanced combat and support aircraft approach intended for Soviet aircraft carriers, which supported nuclear submarines, large surface combatants, and land-based strike bombers performing anti-access roles. The air wing lacks long-range radar and anti-submarine fixed-wing aircraft, needing support from shore-based aircraft such as Tupolev Tu-154 ASW and Shaanxi Y-8 AWACS aircraft. The U.S. Department of Defense noted that J-15s will have below normal range and armament when operating from the carrier, due to limits imposed by the ski-jump takeoff system. The lack of a carrier onboard delivery aircraft like the United States Navy (USN) Grumman C-2 Greyhound also limits logistics capabilities. Liaoning would need extensive land-based support to oppose a USN carrier strike group; however, it would be potent against the Vietnam People's Navy and the Philippine Navy. Deficiencies will likely be corrected with future aircraft carriers, which are expected to be larger with conventional takeoff decks and catapult launching for heavier fighters, plus fixed-wing radar and anti-submarine patrol aircraft.
- Liu Zhe, captain of Liaoning
- Chinese aircraft carrier programme
- Type 001A aircraft carrier
- HMAS Melbourne – purchased by China in the 1980s
- INS Vikramaditya – also originally built for the Soviet Navy and sold to India.
- List of aircraft carriers
- List of aircraft carriers of Russia and the Soviet Union
- "Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov". Rusnavy.com. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Kuznetsov Class – Project 1143.5". Globalsecurity.org. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Keene, The Battles of Coxinga: Chikamatsu's Puppet Play, Its Background and Importance, 45.
- "How does China's first aircraft carrier stack up?". CSIS China Power.
- 14 San Diego L. Rev. 681 (1976–1977) Kiev and the Montreux Convention: The Aircraft Carrier That Became a Cruiser to Squeeze through the Turkish Straits; Froman, F. David
- "The Tbilist and the Montreux Convention". Osaarchivum.org. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- John Pike. "Montreux Convention 1936". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- Tao, Zhang (2015-10-20). "Captain delegation of U.S. Navy visits Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier". Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China.
- Rochlin, G. I; La Porte, T. R; Roberts, H (Autumn 1987). "The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea". Naval War College Review. Naval War College. LI (3). Footnote 39. Archived from the original on December 13, 2006.
- Storey, I; Ji, Y (Winter 2004). "China's Aircraft Carrier Ambitions: Seeking Truth from Rumors". Naval War College Review. Naval War College. 57 (1). Archived from the original on December 12, 2006.
- "Aircraft Carrier Varyag". Russiafile.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Minnie Chan (19 January 2015). "The inside story of the Liaoning: how Xu Zengping sealed deal for China's first aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- "China's aircraft-carrier: Name and purpose to be determined". The Economist. August 13, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- Dorsey, John (July 24, 2001). "Bosporus ban leaves former Soviet carrier in dire straits". The Scotsman. The Scotsman Publications – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Navarro, Peter; Autry, Greg (October 16, 2011). "Aircraft Carrier? What Aircraft Carrier? Oh, That Aircraft Carrier!". Huffington Post. AOL. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Holland, Ben (November 1, 2001). "After 16 months, Turkey lets half-built aircraft carrier pass through Bosporus". AP Worldstream. Associated Press – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Jonathan Eyal (July 16, 2011). "China Aircraft Carrier Dreams". Straits Times.[self-published source?]
- "Engineless aircraft carrier breaks lose from tugboat, drifts in Aegean". AP Worldstream. Associated Press – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). November 4, 2001. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "Crew rescued from drifting 'casino' aircraft carrier". AP Worldstream. Associated Press – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). November 4, 2001. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "Soviet-built carrier will be reattached to tugboats to go to China". AP Worlstream. Associated Press – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). November 6, 2001. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "UPI Insider". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). November 9, 2001. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "Varyag emerges from storm". Kyiv Post. November 8, 2001. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Minnie Chan (20 January 2015). "Mission impossible II: the battle to get China's aircraft carrier home". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Minnie Chan (19 January 2015). "Mission impossible: How one man bought China its first aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- PLA Navy announces to recruit fighter pilot for its first Aircraft CarrierChinese Military Power Mashup article, September 10, 2008[self-published source?]
- Chang, Felix K. (October 2012). "Making Waves: Debates Behind China's First Aircraft Carrier" (PDF). Foreign Policy Research Institute. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Истребитель не долетел до Китая. Moskovskij Komsomolets (in Russian). March 10, 2009. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Saunders, Stephen (editor) (2007). Jane's Fighting Ships Vol. 110, 2007–2008. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group. p. 122.
- Jon Rosamond, 'China completes joint exercise with UK aircraft carrier,' Jane's Navy International, November 2007, p.6
- Minemura, Kenji (December 31, 2008). "China to start construction of 1st aircraft carriers next year". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on May 26, 2009.
- "Chinese Carrier Goes Into Dry Dock". Strategypage.com. May 14, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2011.[self-published source?]
- "Upgrading the Admiral: Russia's Kuznetsov". Defense Industry Daily. April 8, 2010. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "The Rising Sea Dragon In Asia Varyag Transformation". Jeffhead.com. February 4, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Forsythe, Michael (October 20, 2009). "Watching Beijing's Air Power Grow". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "China Carrier Confirmed by General". BBC News. June 8, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Li Gang (July 27, 2011). "China refitting aircract carrier body for research, training". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- Bitzinger, Richard A; Mitchell, Paul T. (May 6, 2011). "Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag: Shape of things to come?" (PDF). RSIS Commentaries. S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2013.
- "China's first aircraft carrier completes sea trial". Xinhua News Agency. August 15, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- "China's first aircraft carrier starts second trial". MaritimeSecurity.Asia. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- AFP (November 30, 2011). "China's first aircraft carrier starts 2nd trial | World". Manilatimes.net. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- Agencies (December 15, 2011). "US satellite snaps China's first aircraft carrier at sea | World news | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- Yang, Jian (July 12, 2012). "J-15 jets on deck as carrier sets off on longest sea trials". Shanghai Daily. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "China's first aircraft carrier ready to enter service: report". China Times. August 6, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Lague, David (August 29, 2012). "Analysis – China's aircraft carrier: in name only". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "China's Navy passes first aircraft-carrier into service". The Voice of Russia. Interfax. September 25, 2012. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- Pang Li (September 10, 2012). "China to name its first aircraft carrier 'Liaoning'". China.org.cn.
- "Liaoning aircraft carrier will reach full capacity in 4–5 years". AirForceWorld.com. Dec 26, 2012.
- Waldron, Greg (24 April 2013). "Chinese officer hints at country's big aircraft carrier plans". Flightglobal. Flight International. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Baldor, Lolita C. (April 7, 2014). "Hagel tours China's new aircraft carrier". Military Times. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "China's Aircraft Carrier Trouble: Spewing Steam and Losing Power". 22 October 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- Goldstein, Lyle (December 2011). "Chinese Naval Strategy in the South China Sea: An Abundance of Noise and Smoke, but Little Fire". Contemporary Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 33 (3): 324. JSTOR 41446233. (subscription required (. ))
- Blanchard, Ben (December 29, 2016). Birsel, Robert, ed. "Come and have a look, China says as carrier skirts Japan". Reuters. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016.
The Soviet-built Liaoning, accompanied by several warships, this week travelled through the passage between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa and into the Pacific for what China has described as a routine exercise.
- "China's first aircraft carrier in Western Pacific drill". BBC Online. 25 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
- "滑跃14°：中国海军起飞的仰角". 解放军报. Beijing. 4 November 2012.
- "解放军报还原中国航母舰载机触舰复飞瞬间（图）". 中国新闻网. Beijing. 4 November 2012.
- "J-15 successfully landed on China's carrier Liaoning". Xinhua News Agency. 25 November 2012. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "More photos of the two J-15s landing and taking off on Liaoning". 新华网 (in Chinese). Beijing. 25 November 2012.
- Lei, Zhao (November 26, 2012). "Jets land on China's 1st aircraft carrier". China Daily. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "Navy soars as nation mourns". China Daily. November 30, 2012. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- LaGrone, Sam (June 19, 2013). "China Carrier Starts Second Round of Jet Tests". USNI News. United States Naval Institute. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
The Chinese are being trained in carrier aviation —the most complicated military aviation operations — by a cadre of Brazilian carrier pilots.
- Waldron, Greg (July 4, 2013). "China certifies first aircraft carrier pilots". Flightglobal. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- LaGrone, Sam (September 8, 2014). "Two PLA Pilots Have Died Testing Fighters for Chinese Carrier". USNI News. United States Naval Institute. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "China denies reports of pilots killed in J-15 tests". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "军方否认2名殉职飞行员系在航母测试中牺牲". 2014-09-07.
- "中央军委主席习近平签署命令 给1个单位、1名个人授予荣誉称号". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People.s Republic of China 2013 (PDF) (Report). Office of the Secretary of Defense. 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- "Chinese Carrier's Purported Air Wing Deemed Plausible but Limited". Defense News. September 7, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.|
- Transformation of the Varyag into a PLAN Aircraft Carrier
- "Varyag Aircraft Carrier" article on sinodefence.com
- physical location in the World
- Satellite Photo of Varyag in Dalian, China from Google Maps
- Chinese carrier operations
- "China's aircraft carrier anchors in military port" Slideshow, People's Daily Xinhua 10:14, February 27, 2013