Archive for the ‘aircraft carrier’ Category

Naval Shps from Around The Globe Watch For Pirates. Where is China?

December 4, 2008

Among the naval forces of the world on guard against Somali pirates, China is conspicuously absent.  Today, a Chinese general asks “If China wants to be a world power, how come we are poweless so often?”

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A Chinese general has called for the country’s navy to join the fight against Somali pirates, saying the mission would boost China’s international stature and give its sailors valuable experience in fighting open ocean combat operations far from their home ports.

Chinese ships have been among those seized in a wave of pirate attacks this year, including the fishing vessel Tianyu No. 8, seized in mid-November.

International warships from NATO and countries including Russia patrol the Gulf of Aden and have created a security corridor in the area under a U.S.-led initiative, but attacks have not abated.

Russia says it will send more ships to patrol the area off the coast of Somalia.
Russian Navy warship passes through the Suez canal and goes toward pirate patrol….

“Piracy doesn’t just interfere in our country’s navigational safety, it also impedes our development and interests,” Major General Jin Yinan told state radio.

“I think our navy should send ships to the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy duties,” Jin said, according to a transcript of the interview posted Thursday on the Web site of the official China News Service. The date of the interview was not given.

In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, ... 
In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, Indian warship INS Tabar, right, escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from a hijack attempt by Somali pirates. The Indian navy says the INS Tabar dedicated to fighting pirates has successfully fought off an attempted pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden, sparking explosions and a fire on the suspected pirate ship late Tuesday, Nov. 18.(AP Photo/Indian Navy, HO, File)

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has little experience operating at long-range, its primary mission being coastal patrol. However, the service is believed to have major ambitions, possibly including the eventual deployment of an aircraft carrier.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081204/ap_on_re_as/as_china_piracy_1

The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf ... 
The French warship Nivose escorts commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Eric Cabanis)

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US maintaining naval-air-marine might in Arabian Sea opposite India, Pakistan, Iran

December 1, 2008

Three US aircraft carriers with strike groups, task forces and nuclear submarines have piled up in the waters of the Arabian Sea opposite the shores of India, Pakistan and Iran, and in the Persian Gulf.

DEBKAfile‘s military sources report that the US began massing this formidable array of floating firepower at the outset of the Islamist terrorist attack on the Indian city of Mumbai last Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Tehran responded typically with a threat of retaliation should the Americans decide to use the Mumbai terrorist attack to hit Iran.

It is more likely, according to our military sources, that the Americans are on the ready in case the rising tensions between India and Pakistan over the New Delhi’s charge of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai atrocity explodes into an armed clash on their border.

This is indicated by the units now deployed:

1. the USS John C. Stennis, which carries 80 fighter-bombers and 3,200 sailors and airmen and leads a strike group..

This carrier joins two already there, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which patrols the northern Arabian Sea, part of whose strike group cruises opposite Iran’s southern coast; and the USS Iwo Jima, which carries a large marine contingent on board.

2. New to these waters, according to DEBKAfile‘s military sources, is the Destroyer Squadron 50/CTF 55, which has two task forces: Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA) for strikes against warships and the rapid deployment of marines to flashpoint arenas; and Mine Countermeasures Division 31, which stands ready to prevent New Delhi or Islamabad from mining the Arabian Sea routes connecting their ports. Those routes are vital waterways for US marine traffic supporting the war in Afghanistan.

3. To manage this armada, the command and control vessel, USS Mount Whitney, has been brought over from the Mediterranean.

4. Four nuclear submarines.

The arrival of the southwest Asian marine patrol carrier Stennis and the Mount Whitney to the Arabian Sea opposite Iran’s shores set alarm bells ringing in Tehran. Our Iranian sources note that the Islamic republic’s rulers remember that after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, the Americans did not only invade Afghanistan, but also Iraq and they fear a similar sideswipe.

The Iranian chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Ataoallah Salehi sounded a warning when he stated Sunday, Nov. 30: The “heavy weight” of enemy warships provides the Iranian side with an ideal opportunity for launching successful counter-attacks.

Related:
Iran Holds Military Games Near Hormuz Strait


Above: U.S. Navy operates at sea with allies…

U.S. Navy cruisers carry long range cruise missiles.  Seen here: USS Gettysburg

See the DEPKA file:
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5747

General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier

November 17, 2008

A high-ranking Chinese military official has hinted that China’s fast-growing navy is seeking to acquire an aircraft carrier, a move that would surely stoke tensions with the United States military and its allies in Asia.

In an interview published in The Financial Times of London on Monday, the official, Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua, did not say whether China was in fact building a carrier. But the general, a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said having one was the dream of any great military power. He suggested that the United States had nothing to fear should China acquire one for strictly defensive purposes.

By Andrew Jacobs
The New York Times     

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier,” he said in the interview. “Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

In recent years, Pentagon officials have been warily following Beijing’s ambitious naval buildup. Since 2000, China has constructed at least 60 warships, and its fleet of 860 vessels includes about 60 submarines.


USS Ronald Reagan

Tensions between China and the United States were heightened last month after the Pentagon announced the sale of $6 billion in advanced weapons to Taiwan. China reacted angrily to the news, warning that the move could worsen relations between the countries. The deal includes Apache attack helicopters and a sophisticated array of missiles, radars and antiaircraft defense systems.

In the interview, the general insisted that China would not deploy a carrier with aggressive intent. “Navies of great powers with more than 10 aircraft carrier battle groups with strategic military objectives have a different purpose from countries with only one or two carriers used for offshore defense,” he said.

Although he did not mention any country by name, his comments were clearly aimed at the United States, which has 11 aircraft carriers, including the USS George Washington, which was recently deployed to Japan. Of the handful of other nations that have aircraft carriers, including Britain, France, Italy and Russia, none have more than two.


Above: USS George Washington

Related:
Could China’s Envey of U.S. Aircraft Carriers Now Be a Construction Project?

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/
world/asia/18china.html?_r=1&hp

Could China’s Envey of U.S. Aircraft Carriers Now Be a Construction Project?

November 17, 2008

A senior Chinese defence official has told a British newspaper that any great power would want an aircraft carrier.

BBC

Major General Qian Lihua, director of the ministry’s Foreign Affairs Office, said that if China had a carrier, it would not be used for “global reach”.

His comments came amid speculation that China is building its first aircraft carrier, which he did not confirm.

China’s growing naval strength is of interest in Taiwan and the South China Sea where China claims territory.

“The navy of any great power… has the dream to have one or more aircraft carriers,” Maj Gen Qian said in the interview with the Financial Times newspaper.

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7732679.stm
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Above: USS George Washington

By Mure Dickie and Martin Dickson in Beijing
Financial Times

Published: November 16 2008

The world should not be surprised if China builds an aircraft carrier but Beijing would use such a vessel only for offshore defence, a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of National Defence has told the Financial Times.

The comments from Major General Qian Lihua, director of the ministry’s Foreign Affairs Office, come amid heated speculation within China and abroad that the increasingly potent naval arm of the People’s Liberation Army has decided to develop and deploy its first aircraft carrier. Traditionally, a carrier would accompany and protect a battle group of smaller ships.

The Pentagon said this year that China was actively engaged in aircraft carrier research and would be able to start building one by the end of this decade, while Jane’s Defence Weekly reported last month that the PLA was training 50 students to become naval pilots capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft from such a ship.

Maj Gen Qian declined to comment directly on whether China had decided to build a carrier, but in the defence ministry’s most forthright statement yet on the issue he made clear that China had every right to do so.

“The navy of any great power . . . has the dream to have one or more aircraft carriers,” he said in the interview, which aides said was the first arranged by the defence ministry on its own premises. “The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier.”

Though he did not mention the US by name, Maj Gen Qian pointedly contrasted the function of a possible Chinese vessel with the way the US Navy uses its 11 carriers. “Navies of great powers with more than 10 aircraft carrier battle groups with strategic military objectives have a different purpose from countries with only one or two carriers used for offshore defence,” he said. “Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country, we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

That pledge is unlikely to reassure those in the region concerned about the PLA navy’s emergence as a blue-water force. An effective Chinese carrier could have serious implications for any conflict involving Taiwan by strengthening the mainland’s ability to counter the island’s air force and control its sea-lanes.

Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan and threatens military action against the island if it tries to further formalise its current de facto independence. Taiwanese separatism was the “biggest threat” China currently faced, Maj Gen Qian said.

Admiral Timothy Keating, head of US Pacific Command, said in Beijing last year that Chinese development of a carrier should not be the cause of any unnecessary tension, and that the US would even be willing to lend a helping hand.

Russia says India has to pay $2 bn more for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov

November 15, 2008
NEW DELHI: In a move to arm-twist , Russia has now publicly demanded as much as $2 billion more to deliver a fully-operational aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov by end-2012.From The Times of India

The $2 billion figure had emerged after a flurry of top-level discussions and visits to the Sevmash shipyard in north Russia, where the decommissioned 44,570-tonne carrier has been berthed for the last 12 years.

But the Indian defence ministry wanted to get the requisite “mandate” from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to “formally renegotiate” the entire 2004 contract with Russia since “all the parameters set for payments had changed totally”.

India’s grudging acceptance that the scope of work on Gorshkov was much more than what was originally assumed had come after much bitterness about Russia’s propensity to escalate costs midway through execution of defence agreements.

Now, as per reports coming from Moscow, Russia has said that it would induct Gorshkov into its own Navy if India failed to pay the additional $2 billion for completing the extensive refit on the warship.

Quoting Sevmash shipyard chief Nikolai Kalistratov and Russian defence ministry officials, the reports said Moscow had stressed that Gorshkov would only be handed over if India provided sufficient funding to complete the refit.

But it may not be smooth sailing here in India since the finance ministry has already shot down the defence ministry’s proposal to consider Russia’s original demand for a $ 1.2-billion jump in the refit costs, holding that it will set a bad precedent for other defence deals.

The finance ministry, in particular, has objected to the figure of $600 million for the year-long sea trials of Gorshkov slated to be held in Barents Sea from 2011.

Defence ministry officials, however, say that once the partly-burnt huge warship was “opened up” at Sevmash, it was found that the work needed to make it fighting fit again had been “grossly underestimated”. The estimate for the ship’s new cabling, for instance, jumped up to 2,400 km from the original 700 km.

“We have already invested a lot of money in Gorshkov and we own the ship now. There is no question of giving it up. An aircraft carrier is a critical requirement that we as a country need,” said an official.

Gorshkov, of course, forms a crucial part of India’s plan to have two operational `carrier battle-groups’ by the middle of the next decade. The country’s solitary and ageing 28,000-tonne carrier INS Viraat is currently undergoing another life-extension refit to ensure it can run at least five more years.

Moreover, the delivery of the 37,500-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier being built at Cochin Shipyard is likely to take place only by 2014-2015 or so.

TOI was the first to report in July that India may have to shell out an additional $2 billion over and above the original $1.5 billion package deal signed in January 2004, under which India was to get a fully-refurbished Gorshkov with 16 MiG-29K fighters by August 2008. Incidentally, the warship was rechristened INS Vikramaditya after India paid an initial $500 million earlier.

 

Oops: Bush Regrets Use of Iraq `Mission Accomplished’ Banner

November 12, 2008

President George W. Bush said he regrets the display of the “Mission Accomplished” sign as backdrop for a speech he gave about a month after the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg

“To some, it said, well, `Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over,’ when I didn’t think that,” he said in a CNN interview today. “It conveyed the wrong message.”

US President George W. Bush addresses the nation aboard the ... 
US President George W. Bush addresses the nation aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003, as it sails for Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California. Bush’s successor inherits a world of troubles come January, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a defiant Iran, and a US economy battered by the global financial crisis.(AFP/File/Stephen Jaffe)

The sign was hung on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, when Bush landed on the carrier wearing a flight suit to declare that major combat operations in Iraq were over. That speech has since served as a rallying point for critics of Bush’s policies in Iraq.

Bush also cited other regrets in the CNN interview, which was conducted aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York after a Veterans Day ceremony.

“I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said,” Bush said. He cited comments he made after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: “I want justice. There’s an old poster out West that said, ‘Wanted, dead or alive.”’

He also said he regretted telling Iraqi insurgents in 2003: “There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ’em on.”

`Be Careful’

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20081112/pl_bloomberg/
ahlrnlvfhsmc;_ylt=AqdgHGwS95q4wzuCAYDdiwqs0NUE

Back From Near Death Again: Cinderella McCain

March 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
March 6, 2008

Encyclopedias define “cinderella” as one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.

Mr. McCain went to the United States Naval Academy and served as a naval aviator — but he was widely known for his rebel ways.  He was almost killed flying jets even before he went to Vietnam.

While flying combat missions from an aircraft carrier, McCain was shot down over Hanoi.  He landed in the water where his communist foes fished him out and beat him.  They took him to the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

He was now a Prisoner of War (POW) with severe injuries.

It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely fantasy that a Prisoner of War – tortured, alone, largely forgotten by the bulk of his countrymen, and lost in an un popular war – returning years later to win his party’s nomination for President of the United States.
Vietcapturejm01.jpg
 In a broadcast from North Vietnam, October 27, Radio Hanoi reported that an American pilot identified as Lieutenant Commander John Sydney McCain, U.S.N., was rescued from Truc Bac Lake near Hanoi, October 26, after parachuting from his crippled aircraft, which had been hit by North Vietnamese ground fire. The broadcast said that McCain had been pulled from the water by North Vietnamese soldiers, treated for injuries and jailed. This photo shows McCain in the water.

Add to that the fact that last summer Senator McCain’s campaign for the nation’s highest office was on its knees financially and morale in his inept staff was so low that the Senator had to entirely retool his campaign.

Rush Limbaugh hated Senator McCain and told the greater world so. And the Governor of Arkansas attacked him from the right.

Even the Democrats said they’d rather run against Senator McCain than Mitt Romney or the others.

If that is not enough, many Republican Party stalwarts, seeing Senator McCain dealing with and sponsoring bills with the likes of hated liberal Senators Kennedy and Feingold, claimed they’d rather vote Democrat or not at all.

And his wife had a well know drug addiction – now healed.

Finally (though there are more reasons Senator McCain is a cinderella), conservatives said McCain was flat wrong on immigration.

Yesterday, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, endorsed the McCain run for the presidency – meeting candidate McCain at the ceremonial entrance to the White House normally reserved for, well, presidents and heads of state.

Don’t count John McCain out.

A Vietnamese veteran of the war in Southeast Asia said to me, “He’s lucky to be alive. But what he has done since the end of his POW days is pure McCain.”

September 11: Terror Milestone

September 8, 2007

Milestone No. 5

By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
First Published
September 11, 2006

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was unprovoked and unannounced. No state of war existed before the attack.

On April 18, 1942, just more than four months later, America retaliated with a bomber attack on Tokyo. The pilots had been trained and qualified, in that short time, to do something never tried before: fly off a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, conduct a bombing mission and ditch instead of land at an airfield.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked at the World Trade Center in New York City and at the Pentagon near Washington D.C. The attack was unprovoked and unannounced. No state of war existed before the attack.

On October 7, 2001, less than a month later, the United States attacked Afghanistan.

It is difficult to imagine any other nation in the world being able to respond so quickly and so professionally after an attack like that suffered by the United States on December 7, 1941, or on September 11, 2001.

Both days were dark days. Both days challenged our unity and resolve. Both days ended with great jubilation in quarters of the enemy camp. And both days marked commencement of a long, arduous struggle.

Since September 11, the damaged section of the Pentagon has been rebuilt, a plan is in place in New York, and despite terror attacks in London, Madrid and elsewhere, there has not been a significant follow-up strike against the United States on U.S. soil.

By carrying the battle to the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan, with our professional military forces and not our women and children and other innocents, we, as a nation, have already achieved a significant advantage over the enemy.

And, as the president said last Thursday during an interview with Katie Couric, of this new enemy: “They share the same jihadist mentality, this radicalism. See, that’s the interesting thing about this war, Katie. It’s — we’re not facing a nation-state. We’re facing people from other nation — around the — around the globe, frankly, that share an ideology and the desire to — achieve objectives through killing innocent people.”

So this war is different from all others. And we have responded differently. We reformed our government and created the Department of Homeland Security. We energized and reformed our intelligence services and created the director of national intelligence (John Negroponte) above the Central Intelligence Agency director. We monitored the terrorists’ communications, computer networks, financing and banking. We commenced a war like no other war ever on Earth.

We, the United States, redefined war. The war on terror we are engaged in, what the Pentagon calls the Global War on Terror (GWOT), and the underlying wars like the war between Israel and Hezbollah, may best carry this new definition: We will do what we have to do, on all levels throughout the world, to keep the enemy on the run, off-balance and living in fear.

The GWOT is more than a military confrontation. It is also a spy game, a media battle for “hearts and minds,” a war of financial sleuthing and intrigue, a war on the internet and much more.

Saddam Hussein is behind bars or in court. Despite some ugly military prison scandals of our own, the rule of law prevails and reforms are in place. We have not lowered ourselves to the level of the terrorists.

Sure, one can criticize. Sure the effort has proceeded slowly and deliberately. Sure, the enemy has changed the rules of the game several times (he is not stupid) like springing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on us and attempting to instill sectarian violence so severe Iraq may splinter into civil war.

But our nation is perhaps the only nation that could have responded so quickly, so professionally and, seemingly, so effortlessly to the attacks we sustained. Shopping malls in America still teem with happy shoppers. Cars still sell. Gas is not yet even $4 a gallon. Our economy is strong. We continue to pursue projects in space.

Yes, we have made sacrifices, principal among them the sacrifice of life and blood and limb by our men and women in the combat forces. But what is the second biggest sacrifice? Processing before an airline flight takes longer? One has to remove ones shoes before boarding a plane?

Our schools continue to function. People still go to work.  Our mass transit systems are operating just fine. Our football season is getting underway.  No American has spent a night in a bomb shelter — even though many Israelis spent a month or more living in bomb-proof underground facilities as Hezbollah rained down missiles.

We should not be complacent. As the president has said: This will be a long war.

So what is our weakness? Our Achilles heel is our own resolve. Our weakness is our own lack of unity, now exacerbated by an election cycle.

And our enemies are still with us. In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defies not just the United States but the entire international community. He is the first president ever to defy the United Nations in the pursuit of nuclear projects. He pushes ahead despite U.N. Resolutions to the contrary.

What are Mr. Ahmadinejad’s goals? Well, he calls the United States the Great Satan. Israel is only the little Satan. And he blithely says he intends to “wipe the Zionist state off the map.” So what will his plan be for the Great Satan?

And in North Korea, an attention-seeking dictator has nuclear weapons and strives to perfect his long-range ballistic missiles.

So, like the Roman Emperors, we face the Huns on many fronts.

And like our forefathers in Rome and in other great civilizations, we have to guard against our own disagreements and divisions from becoming crippling. We have to watch our Achilles heel.

Because our enemies are real. And they want to win.