A dramatic before & after look at China’s first aircraft carrier
A picture of China’s first aircraft carrier before it was eventually completed has surfaced on the Chinese internet. The images showed up on Tencent’s microblog and show a rusty, unfinished hulk. The ship, built for the USSR but never completed, was towed to China where it eventually became the carrier Liaoning. The article also lists the technical challenges naval engineers faced, particularly with the ship’s unfinished—and largely absent—propulsion systems.
In the early 1980s, the Soviet Union began construction on a new generation of aircraft carriers designed to match U.S. carriers. Two Admiral Kuznetsov-class carriers were ordered; the first, Kuznetsov itself, was completed and served with the Soviet Navy, and was later transferred to the Russian Navy where it serves to this day (despite many issues). The other ship, Riga, was only 68 percent completed when the USSR was dissolved in 1991.
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