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Defence & Aerospace

China’s aircraft carrier has fatal weakness – vulnerable if too far away from China

A Z-18 early warning helicopter on the Liaoning

A Z-18 early warning helicopter on the Liaoning

The following is translated from Chinese media:

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is said to have obtained initial operational capability after its recent test of intensive taking off and landing of J-15 carrier-based aircraft.

However, it has its fatal weakness: the lack of a fixed-wing airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, as it has no catapult for these aircraft to take off from it.

The phased array radar on the carrier has four antenna boards to detect targets 400 km away from all directions; therefore, the carrier can effectively deal with a saturation attack. However, the radar cannot find a low-flying target until it comes very close to the carrier.

There have recently been some photos of a new type of helicopter on the carrier believed to be the new Z-18 early warning helicopters specially developed for the carrier.

However, early warning helicopters are inferior to fixed-wing AEW&C aircraft, as they cannot fly high enough to find low-flying targets far away. As a result, the Liaoning cannot go to areas outside the range of China’s land-based fixed-wing AEW&C aircraft unless China can reduce the size of its fixed-wing AEW&Cs.

Source: huanqiu.com “Does the phased array radar on China’s aircraft carrier have fatal weakness? (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


16 thoughts on “China’s aircraft carrier has fatal weakness – vulnerable if too far away from China

  1. Also it’s a 30 year old Ukrainian pile of rust. .


    Posted by Kirk | August 4, 2014, 6:10 pm
  2. Be careful! The West believes China is not transparent enough with its military and that China has a strategy to hide its strength.


    Posted by Mark Chan | August 5, 2014, 12:49 am
  3. At this point in time China’s Navy is no match to the US 7th fleet.


    Posted by Manuel C. Diaz | August 5, 2014, 2:53 am


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