Saturday, April 26, 2014



File:Varyag during refitting.jpg
School ship and show piece the PLAN Liaoning  Photo byYhz1221 license:  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. do not copy or redistribute except under terms of license cited

 The Real Deal,  Photo U.S. Navy, U.S. Nuclear propelled carrier taking on aviation fuel at sea.

 The Chinese have finally launched and have started to operate their former Russian carrier now called the LIAONING, formerly the Russian VARYAG acquired by China during one of the post Soviet era fire sales of old Russian equipment. For years the Dragon said it was going to convert it into a tourist attraction. Now the Dragon  is touting it as a serious commissioned naval combatant. Well it certainly looks a lot better in its new paint job. It actually does have some carrier capable aircraft aboard.  We know that the Dragon's pilots can actually take off and land from the carrier, at least under ideal conditions. We haven't seen any demonstration of their ability to engage in under way replenishment, a key skill set for long distance carrier operations, nor have we seen the LIAONING demonstrate the level of flight deck operations needed in a real combat situation. But the ship is pretty enough, and the aircraft formidable looking enough, and the crew camera friendly enough that the People's Liberation Army's Navy has started to use it for propaganda videos.  

 The U.S. also produces some flight deck operations videos set to music but these are generally not navy sponsored or produced. Some are produced by vendors who sell to the carrier force and quite a few , and probably the most entertaining, are produced by the crews as a recreational activity and posted to YouTube. We have posted a number of these crew produced recreational videos in our "SUNDAY FUNNIES" that we publish on a highly irregular basis. TIME  recently published on line a two video essay contrasting the Dragon's recent highly polished ( complete with white suited professional singer on deck) propaganda video, with a of carrier deck operations. Experienced naval professionals will no doubt note the contrasts.

 The Chinese video has better production values. Apparently the carrier was at a near stop and faced into the wind while filming. The U.S. carrier was actually conducting real operations from a deck full of air craft being launched one after another in rapid succession. The Dragon's bird farm was launching a single air craft which is followed from the elevator up from the hanger deck and through the launch sequence from a freshly painted and clear deck in picture perfect weather. The U.S. sequence just shows plane after plane being launched into less than photogenic weather. The flight deck crew of the Dragon's bird farm are in colorful, new, immaculate uniforms. The U.S. crews present a decent picture of military dress code adherence but they have obviously been at work a while in a gritty environment. The "dash cam" mounted in the Dragon plane is almost as vibration free as the camera they used to shoot the flight deck sequence and captures some really beautiful footage of Chinese fighter jest pulling out of tight formations. The U.S. aerial footage is simply from black and white battle damage assessment cameras and shows U.S. ordinance shot from our carrier based planes blowing up stuff.

 We can't read Mandarin but the sheer length of the title of the Chinese video tells us it has a really impressive title. The American video's title is; "SHOOT 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM". Videos can be a force in a campaign for territorial conquest. China's seems to be intended to impress their own people with the idea that that their one half trained carrier crew and ship is a match for the U.S. Pacific fleet ( Its good to dream), and to tell the true owners of the islands they keep trying to steal the Dragon is all powerful and resistance is futile . The U.S. video by contrast seems to just be some gritty footage of men at work, dealing out death with industrial efficiency. The Dragon's show boat wouldn't last 15 minutes in a single carrier task force on carrier task force engagement with the U.S.. It won't always be that way, especially if the Democrats continue to under cut our Navy. But China is still a decade away from fielding even two really competent carrier task forces, there is just more to it than being able to take off and land at a leisurely pace from a carrier deck under optimum conditions.  Assuming that the democrats can be slowed in their march towards unilateral disarmament the U.S. should continue to have about 11 nuclear carriers , with 9 fully operational and ready at all times well into the next decade. The Dragon just doesn't get it. The fastest way to get the oil flowing from the China Seas reserves to their industrial complexes is to cooperate with their neighbors vice demanding the surrender of their resources. All the fancy videos in the world won't make those U.S. carriers with their highly experienced and combat ready crews go away.....only the American Democratic Party can do that. By the way, Japanese, Philippine, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Indian naval professionals are just as capable of seeing through Dragon's posturing as we are. Nice production values though. If you want to watch the two videos here  is the link: TIMES .
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