The problems that Russia has with its only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, are well known.
But it seems that Russia will soon have the opportunity to replace it with an upgraded aircraft carrier, the Chinese Liaoning, and could use it until it builds its own carrier around 2030.
As the Chinese newspaper Beijing Today reports, in recent years the rapid shipping and integration of new units into the Chinese Navy has raised the question of the fate of older units that still have something to offer.
The article considers that the Liaoning could potentially be put up for sale, paving the way for new, more sophisticated designs. The Chinese Navy already has new carrier designs in full development, with greater displacement, capabilities and potential than the “Liaoning“, whose design still reflects the ideas and capabilities of its Soviet past as a coastal zone protection unit.
The old plan was drastically revised and upgraded but its long-term prospects for further upgrading and remaining in service are considered by many to be uncertain. With the entry into service of newer designs, the“Liaoning” will gradually be reduced to exclusively training duties, a prospect that will make the operating cost/performance ratio very negative.
Perhaps, Beijing Today concludes, it would be moreefficient to sell the carrier to a foreign navy while thetime isripe.