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May 24, 2009

What if they held a Monroe doctrine and nobody came?

Information Dissemination hosts photos from China of recent work on former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag. Also an important scoop lifted from a Portugese language defense, strategy and intelligence site: Brazilian Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim has announced a deal whereby PLAN pilots are to train for catapult operations on Brazilian carrier São Paulo.

I think the important part is that Jobim is going to China this fall to basically finalize a deal that will allow Chinese naval pilots to train from Sao Paulo. You can see a little bit about the Sao Paulo aircraft carrier in its Wikipedia Page. I think it's kind of interesting that they chose Sao Paulo, because it's basically the only aircraft carrier with catapult and not serving for a country that current has military embargo on China. US will obviously not let PLAN train on its carriers and French navy probably will not either due to the embargo. I guess it shows that China is looking to build a CATOBAR carrier pretty soon. Otherwise, there really isn't any need to train on Sao Paulo right now. On the other hand, it's kind of curious that China is also planning to use NITKA training center, because that's probably preparing pilots for STOBAR carrier. Obviously, PLAN would be able to do more realistic training on Sao Paulo, but it would only have limited training schedule on Sao Paulo compared to NITKA. So, it looks like PLAN is just covering all the basis with its plans. On the whole, my guess is that Varyag will probably not equip any catapult, but the home built carriers will.

For the uninitiated: Wikipedia entries for CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery) and STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery).

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 24, 2009 06:44 AM