Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chinese Type 022 Missile Boat Photos









Photo Credit: Defense Talk

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Last Soviet Bomber: The Tu-160 "Blackjack"

     During the late 1960s the Soviet Union developed the Tu-160 (NATO reporting name "Blackjack") as a response to the American B-70 Valkyrie. However, as it turned out that a Mach 3+ strategic bomber would be too expensive, the Tu-160 evolved into a Mach 2 long range bomber similar to the Tu-22M (NATO reporting name "Backfire").
     The Tu-160 began life in late 1967 in a contest between Sukhoi and Myasishchev, but later was built by Tupolev. Production of the Tu-160 began in 1984 with a planned production of 100 aircraft, but due to the collapse of the Soviet Union production was capped at 36 aircraft, of which 19 were left in the Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed. In 1999 the Ukraine gave Russia 6 Tu-160s and 3 Tu-95s along with 600 air launched missiles in payment for gas debts. 
     The Tu-160 has a top speed of 2200 kilometers per hour (1,367 MPH), and a max altitude of 16,000 meters (10 miles), and a range of between 10,500 and 14,000 kilometers (6,524.4 to 8,700 miles) depending on the payload. The Tu-160 is armed with either 12 Kh-55s for attacking fixed targets, or 24 Kh-15 for either attacking enamy radar installations or for the anti-shipping role. The Tu-160 is also the fist Soviet/Russian bomber not to have tail guns since the end of WWII, as all previous Soviet/Russian bombs had at a minimum twin 23mm guns in the tail.
     In recent years the Russian long range aviation units have become more active, due to the fact that in 2007 former Russian president (and ex-KGB agent) Vladimir Putin announced that long range flights that were banned by former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, would resume. Since then Tu-160s have been intercepted by NATO fighters several times, most recently in March of 2010. 
     Due to the fact that the Tu-160 is a somewhat old design, there is talk that the bomber version of the T-50, the PAK DA will replace the T-160 and the Tu-95. However, the Russian government has stated that upgrades will keep the Tu-160 in service through 2020.
       
      

      


Photo Credit: Sergey Krivchikov

Monday, August 29, 2011

Is Support For The F-35 In Australia Weakening?

     Aviation Week reports that Australia is considering purchasing an additional 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to bridge an air-power gap that will occur when Australia's older 71 F/A-18A/B Hornets are retired. If Australia does purchase the additional Super Hornets, it would be the second order they have made for Super Hornets.
     Australia has committed to purchasing at least 14 F-35s already, but if the order is decreased to the minimum, it would be a blow to the F-35 program overall as Australia decreasing it's order would be a high profile blow for the F-35.
     Up till the last couple of years Australia has been planning to purchase 100 F-35As to replace the aging Hornets, but when a RAND study came out that claimed the F-35 would be at a disadvantage against Chinese fighters support has started to weaken. On top of this, the present administration in Australia, and the last administration have both stated that they will not tolerate a decline in Australia's air combat capability. Thus, with the F-35 suffering from delays, and Australia's aging F/A-18A/Bs being retired, Australia will probably order the additional Super Hornets.
     Possible reasons for Australia replacing the F-35 with the F/A-18 would be the fact that the F-35A has a shorter combat range than the U.S. Air Force required, and range is an extremely important factor in the south Pacific as the distances are great in that area. Another reason could be that the F-35 has only 4 internal hardpoints for carrying ordnance and placing ordnance on the wing hardpoints would disrupt the F-35's stealth capabilities. Other possible reasons could include lack of maneuverability, speed, and high costs.
     Whatever the Australians choose in this matter it will be interesting to watch these events unfold, and as a result watch how Lockheed responds.
     
       


Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force

Video Of Former Libyan Army Tanks

     Defense Tech posted this video showing at least 50 T-54/55s that were formerly owned by Qaddafi, and now are controlled by the rebels.  


Video Credit: The Telegraph

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Iran Unveils New Cruise Missile And Torpedo

     Defense News reports that Iran has unveiled a new cruise missile named "Able", and a new naval torpedo named "The Dawn". 
     Iranian media claim that the "Able" has a range of 120 miles and "possessing high destructive ability which can be used against coastal targets and warships". The "Able" also looks similar to the Chinese C-802 which Iran already has roughly 60 of, and possibly many more. 
     The new torpedo designated "The Dawn" , has a payload of 485 pounds and, "can be used in shallow or deep water" in the words of the Iranian media. 
     This is not the first time Iran has exaggerated the ability of it's weapons, but if used en-masse these weapons and the rest of Iran's arsenal could easily shut down the Strait Of Hormuz.    


Photo Credit: Defense Tech

Video Of Dutch Fighters Intercepting a Russian Tu-95

     Thanks to Ares for spotting this video. Apparently, about a week ago, two Dutch F-16s were scrambled to intercept 2 Russian Tu-95s that entered Dutch airspace.

Video Credit: Ares

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MAKS 2011: T-50 Flameout & Su-35 Stunts

     Defense Tech reports that one of the T-50s was forced to abort it's takeoff due to a flame-out in the left engine. The Sukhoi has blamed cause of the flame-out on a malfunctioning fuel supply, but Russian runways are notorious for having pieces of metal on them that can cause a flame-out. Flightglobal corespondent Vladimir Karnozov was there and witnessed the flame-out, and Stephen Trimble posted his report over at the DEW Line.


As a bonus here is a video of the Su-35.



Photo Credit: Defense Tech
Video Credit: SAMTOMAS,  Typhoon USSR

KJ-200 In Service With The PLAN

     Alert 5 posted this photo showing a KJ-2000 AEW&C with Chinese navy markings on the tailplane.


Photo Credit: Alert 5

Monday, August 22, 2011

Did Russia Sell China Tech For The J-20?

      Aviation Week has an extremely interesting article about the possibility that Russia is helping China with the J-20. This possibility lies in the fact that the J-20 looks remarkably similar to the canceled MiG 1.44 "Flatpack".
     The MiG 1.44 was a prototype stealth aircraft developed in the 1990s meant to compete with the F-22 and the Eurofighter, in that it was built with stealth capabilities for the air superiority role, but also with a large air-to-ground payload. The MiG 1.44 was also said to have a top speed of over 1,500 MPH at altitude, and a wing span of about 49 feet. The MiG 1.44 also looks similar to the J-20 as the photo below shows.
     If Russia did provide China with help in building the J-20, it would not be the first time that the Russians/Soviets gave the Chinese help in producing military equipment. Back in the 1950s the Soviets gave the Chinese help in producing Chinese versions of the MiG-15 fighter (J-2), AK-47 assault rifle (Type 56), and the T-55 Main Battle Tank (Type 59). After the Sino-Soviet split during the 1960s, China aligned with the U.S. (this affects America's foreign policy and domestic policy to this day), but in recent years has mended relations with Russia and is now much friendlier than during the Cold War.
     There is some speculation by the folks over DoDBuzz that Russia might be intentionally givng China help with the J-20 to increase the number of stealth fighters vs the number of F-22s and F-35s. Aviation Week also quotes a Russian analyst who speculates that China might have paid Russia for the tail of the MiG 1.44 and some parts.
     If the Russians did provide the Chinese assistance with the J-20, it is not only a dangerous precedent, but at the same time it shows that Russia is willing to sell anything to anybody with a big enough wallet.
      

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Global Security

     


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photos Of The Varyag At Sea

     Alert 5 posted some new photos showing the Varyag out at sea during her sea trials.
     The Varyag does not appear to be underway on her own power due to the fact that there is almost no wake, but the fact that she is capable of going to sea is a big step for the future of the Chinese navy.






Photo Credit: Alert 5



Chinese PR Photo Shows Sniper About To Fall Out Of A Tree

     Thanks to China Defense Blog for spotting this. One shot from the sniper and a few broken ribs for him.

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Qaddafi Fires A Scud At Rebels

     Defense Tech reports that some of Qaddafi's military forces launched a SS-1 Scud at the rebel held town of Brega, but missed by about 50 miles.
     While it is good that the Scud missed the town, what is interesting about this is that Qaddafi still has Scud missiles in existence. When the Allied coalition set up the no-fly zone, almost every air defense system was destroyed (with the exception of MAN Portable Air defense System), and a good deal of his artillery and armor were destroyed in later airstrikes. How the Allied forces managed to miss a Scud TEL (Transporter, Erector, Launcher), is very unusual as they tend to be on the top of the list when taking out a 3rd world country's military (during the wars in the Persian Gulf Scuds were the coalition's #1 target because they could have reached Israel, and Israel if attacked by Iraq would have attacked Iraq and thereby destroyed the coalition). 
     What is more concerning however, is that Qaddafi may have more Scuds, and other surface-to-surface missiles. Global Security lists Libya as having 80 Scud-Bs as of 2005, and 45 FROG-7 (Free Rocket Over Ground 7) surface-to-surface missiles as of 2010. Some of these missiles would probably have been taken out by Allied airstrikes, but there have been no reports of any Scuds or FROG-7 being destroyed. The advancing rebel forces probably have either captured of destroyed some of these missiles as well, but there have been no reports of this yet. 
     However, Qaddafi might be most of his surface-to-surface missiles nearby Tripoli or somewhere where most of the people are loyal to him, as an ace up his sleeve. This not all that unlikely as Qaddafi, as do probably most dictators, is probably keeping these missiles in reserve for some major attack whereby he can undermine support for the no-fly zone and the rebels. This could be supported by the fact that an Italian frigate operating 12 miles off the coast of Libya, was fired on by someone using an unknown type of missile, which crashed into the water about 1 mile away.
     However Qaddafi intends to use the surface-to-surface missiles, he will use them in the fashion that will garner maximum possible publicity to undermine support for the Allied coalition.


Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

Ron Paul On Iran

     Rep. Paul, the reason we negoiated with the Soviets was because they were not a bunch of muslim terrorists hell-bent on wiping Israel and the U.S. off the map. And, sanctions are not a precursor to war, take North Korea for example, we have many sanctions against them and we are not going to attack them. Also, the articles below might change your mind that Iran is working on nuclear weapons.



     In my humble opinion, I think that if Ron Paul becomes president we will be the world's doormat, that's why Rick Perry is a better choice.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MAKS 2011: T-50 & Su-35 & Su-34 Photos

     Ares and Defense Tech posted some great photos of the 2 T-50s, a Su-35, and a Su-34 practicing for the MAKS 2011 airshow in Moscow.













Photo Credit: Ares, Defense Tech









U.S. To Deny Taiwan's Request For F-16s

     Defense News reports that U.S. government will probably deny Taiwan's request for 60 new F-16 C/Ds. But, they probably will allow Taiwan's existing F-16 fleet to be upgraded with AESA radar, and several other new features.
     Back in 2006 Taiwan filed a request with the U.S. to purchase 60 new F-16 C/D Block 50/52s, ever since then the State Department  has been denying Taiwan's request because of Chinese pressure. However, while the request for the new F-16s looks like it will be denied, the U.S. will probably allow Taiwan's existing 146 F-16 A/B Block 20s to be upgraded with several new features.
      These features will include a new AESA radar, either Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar or the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar to replace the current APG-66(V)3. Lockheed Martin will also add the BRU-57A Twin Stores carrier which will double the number of bombs the F-16s can carry. The upgrade package will also include updates to the F-16s ALQ-184(V)7 ECM pods, and/or offer the newer ALQ-211 Electronic Warfare Suite pod as an alternative. Other upgrades will include the capability to launch the AIM-9X Sidewinder, equip the F-16s to carry the GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb, a helment mounted cueing system, and a digital threat warning reciever.
     Consequences for the U.S. following the offer of the upgrades and/or the new F-16s, China could cause problems for the U.S. economy due to the fact that they hold over 1 trillion dollars of our debt, and would not be happy if the upgrades of the fighters are offered. Also, if the upgrades are offered, and the offer taken, the radar the Taiwanese chose, would probably be the radar the U.S. Air force chooses to replace the old radars on it's F-16 fleet.
     However, most of the above is just speculation as the decision will not be made before October 1st, but it seems likely that at the least the upgrades would be offered to Taiwan, as a sort of consolation prize. While it is unlikely that the new F-16s will be offered, the Obama administration might offer the F-16s as it would create an estimated 16,000 jobs, and the upcoming 2012 election will be all about jobs and the economy.


Photo Credit: USAF

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rick Perry Is Running For President

   


Video Credit: Associated Press

Varyag Returns From Sea Trials

China Defense Blog spotted these photos showing the Varyag returning on the 13th from 3 days of sea trials. The cruise ship in one of photos is the Chinese Navy's Life Style 88 crew support ship that sailed with the Varyag on the 10th when the Varyag left for sea trials.





Photo Credit: China Defense Blog


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taiwan Announces Hsiung Feng III Is For Sinking Chinese Carriers



     Defense News reports that Taiwan designed the Hsiung Feng III for attacking aircraft carriers, specifically the ones operated by China. 
      The painting above was displayed at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition showing the Varyag being hit by 3 Hsiung Feng 3 cruise missiles. This extremely unusual for the Taiwanese, as they usually don't explicitly say that China is the enemy. Thus, this drawing is essentially saying that Taiwan is not afraid of China, and that if attacked could inflict serious casulties on the Chinese.
     Another interesting aspect of this picture is that in the extreme left there is another ship which looks like an aircraft carrier, due to the fact that the superstructure is amidships, and on the port side, similar to an aircraft carrier. If this is an aircraft carrier, it appears to be of similar size to the Varyag, and possibly of the same design. There are reports that China is building at least 2 other carriers, with at least 2 more on the drawing board, as was mentioned here a few days ago.
     With the Varyag entering sea trials, it will be interesting to see how the Taiwanese react to having a Chinese aircraft carrier on their front door.
     


Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal, Wendell Minnick

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Varyag Begins Sea Trials

     Defense news reports that the Varyag is beginning her sea trials.
     This a big milestone for Chinese sea power, as they will be able to hit targets farther away than before, and also be able to intimidate weaker countries. China Defense Blog also reported  that a no-fly zone is in effect off of China's coast where the Varyag will probably undergo her sea trials.
     One aspect of Varyag's sea trials is that will the U.S., Taiwan, or Japan launch reconnaissance flights over or near the Varyag's battle group? Will the U.S. send submarines to watch the sea trials? Other questions about the Varyag's sea trials are, how will the propulsion systems perform? Will the Chinese try to land aircraft on the Varyag? Will the Chinese test the Varyag's air defense systems against drones? Will the Chinese hold drills covering under way replenishment? 
     Either way you look at this, it is a milestone for the Chinese navy, but as I have said before the Varyag is not a large threat to the U.S..

     


Photo Credit: China Defense blog

Mother Of All Bombs Test



Video Credit: YouTube

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last Week's Helicopter Crash Wasn't Caused By An RPG

     Last week a CH-47 Chinook carrying 22 SEALs, 3 Air Force Air Controllers, and 7 Afghan Army troops was shot down by the Taliban over Afghanistan. Defense News reports that the Taliban shot down the helicopter with an RPG that struck the helicopter.
     The report also says that the attack took place late August 5th, at night in other words. However, you have a better chance of finding Flight 19 with a fishing net than hitting a moving helicopter with an RPG, and there it is more likely that the Taliban used a MANPADS ( MAN Portable Air Defense System).
     A MANPADS is a a small rocket similar to an RPG, but with an infrared guidance system that locks on to the exhaust from an aircraft engine. A MANPADS that most people might have heard of is the FIM-92 Stinger. The Stinger is the standard issue MANPADS of the U.S. military and several other countries.
     The Mujaheddin (now known as the Taliban) who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s, received among other things Stinger MANPADS to shoot down Soviet helicopters with.  By now the batteries in those missiles are long dead, and the equipment needed for their upkeep is impossible for the Taliban to get their hands on. Thus, this would point toward a new outside source for these weapons.
     The first suspect to come to mind would be Iran, Iran has been caught before giving the Taliban weapons in the form of 122mm rockets that have a range of 13 miles. On top of this Iran is known to produce a MANPADS under the designations Misagh-1 & 2. Another possible source for MANPADS would be China, they are known to produce several types of MANPADS, and also shares a border with Afghanistan. Russia is also another possible supplier of MANPADS, but has no motive for this. Libya might also be the source for these missiles due to the fact that MANPADS have been stolen from Gaddafi armories several times, and no one knows where they are. Other more unlikely sources could be Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or even India, but these countries with the exception of Pakistan, have no reason to provoke the U.S. like this.  
     Until the military comes clean and admits that the Taliban is using MANPADS this is all pure speculation, but if true this poses an enormous risk to civilian and military air travel all over the world.
     


Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force

Monday, August 8, 2011

Photos Show Z-8 Helicopter Flying Around The Varyag

     Alert 5 spotted these photos showing a Z-8 AEW (Airborne Early Warning) helicopter flying over the Varyag. It is unknown whether or not the Z-8 actually touched down.
      What is interesting about these photos is that the flight deck is cleared of construction equipment, and building supplies. Thus, it would seem that the Varyag is getting ready to sail.





Photo Credit: Alert 5

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's The Weekend! 8/6/11



     
     I don't agree with the video's title, but either way that was an epic fail.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Chinese Carrier Mockup

     Defense News spotted these photos showing China's Varyag mockup on dry land, it is located at the Wuhan Naval Facility on the shore of Huangjia Lake.
      What is interesting about these photos is that the mockup appears to be situated on a large brick building, which brings up two questions. 1. Can you land and launch aircraft from this structure? 2. Does this structure simulate the rolling motion of waves on the ocean?
     Either way this mockup shows a great deal of dedication to eventually operating an aircraft carrier(s).




These photos below are ones that China Defense Blog posted back in October 2009.







Photo Credit (top to bottom): Defense Tech, China Defense Blog


   



 

The Debt Crisis..... Explained By Squirrels



Video Credit: PowerLineBlog.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Did The Chinese Have A Nuclear Accident?

     Recently, there has been a flurry of rumors surrounding reports that the Chinese have had a nuclear reactor accident in the port of Dalian. 
     Most of the information on this comes from a blogger quoting a man who claims to be a former Japanese Air Self Defense Force officer, saying that a Chinese nuclear sub suffered an accident and is leaking radioactive material into the water. The man went on to say that Chinese troops have sealed off the area and "the situation is very dangerous". 
     If this rumor is true, it shows that the Chinese nuclear submarine force is in a state of disrepair to have such an accident. On top of this it shows how much the Chinese have to learn about operating nuclear reactors if they want to operate nuclear powered aircraft carriers



Photo Credit: U.S. Military

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Future Of The Chinese Aircraft Carrier Program

     
Defense News reports that Chinese Gen. Luo Yuan of the Academy of Military Sciences stated "If we consider our neighbors - India will have three aircraft carriers by 2014 and Japan will have three carriers by 2014", the General went on to say  "So I think the number [for China] should not be less than three so we can defend our rights and our maritime interests effectively.".     
     This idea is not unheard of, due to the fact that in 2008 a Japanese newspaper ran an article quoting Chinese sources saying that China would build 3 aircraft carriers (not including the Varyag) starting in 2009. Further evidence to support this claim comes in the form of a photo Alert 5 found, and was later posted here, showing the Varyag's starboard side, and a large keel in the next dry dock.
     The keel in the photo appears to be as long as the Varyag itself, and is not yet finished. The keel also appears to be for a ship larger than a destroyer, which are the biggest warships in the Chinese navy (with the exception of the Varyag), and also appears to be extremely large compared to the man in the bottom left center. If this is an aircraft carrier it is probably is of a size similar to the Varyag, and possibly of a different design.
     On top of this, Aviation Week reported that China is also planning to build 2 nuclear powered Project 1143.7 Ulyanovsk-class carriers during the 2020s. The Ulyanovsk-class was supposed to be a Soviet equivalent of the Nimitz-class carriers of the 1980s, and was designed to carry 70 aircraft, and have a displacement of 80,000 tons. However, with collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ulyanovsk which was then under construction, was canceled and scrapped.
      If the Chinese were to build a nuclear powered aircraft carrier similar to the Ulyanovsk-class, it would mean the Chinese would have to learn a who new range of skills. 1. The Chinese have no experience dealing with nuclear reactor on a surface ship, but do have some experience with reactors on submarines. 2. Nuclear powered carriers need special refueling areas for their mid-life refueling, and special procedures for refueling a reactor of that size. 3.The replenishment need for a Ulyanovsk-class carrier is 33% larger than for the Varyag, and the Chinese do not have a large supply fleet or the skills needed for that task.
     One other aspect of the Chinese aircraft carrier program is whether or not they will put anti-ship missiles (ASMs) on their carriers like the Soviets/Russians. When the Varyag was designed, it was supposed to carry 12 SS-N-19 (P-700) Shipwreck ASMs. The Ulyanovsk-class was also designed to carry 12 SS-N-19s, and/or 12 SS-N-12 (P-500) Sandbox ASMs. What is interesting about this is that in the photos showing the Varyag, there has been no sign of VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells that would hold ASMs. However, if there are VLS cells in the photos then there is a possibility that they might be loaded with surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) rather than ASMs.
     As the Chinese continue to overhaul the Varyag, it will be extremely interesting to find out more about the Varyag's weapons system, and equipment as more information comes out. On top of this it will be facinating to see how China designs their future aircraft carriers, and associated systems.



Photo Credit: China Defense Blog, Alert 5




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Smoke Coming From The Varyag's Funnel

     China Defense Blog spotted this photo showing a large amount of smoke coming from the Varyag's funnel.
     This is not the first time exhaust has been seen coming from the Varyag's funnel. Back in May China Defense Blog posted a photo showing heat waves coming from the Varyag's funnel.

     If these photos are authentic, then it shows that the Chinese are quickly getting the Varyag ready for sea trials.





Photo Credit: China Defense Blog

FJ4 Runs Off The Runway At Oshkosh Air Show

     The DEW Line spotted this video showing a North American FJ4 Fury running off the runway next to an Alabama Air National Gaurd F-16 that had crashed earlier. Unlike the F-16 however, the FJ-4's nose gear did not collapse, and thereby showing how well carrier aircraft are built.


Video Credit: MrSerious0 
  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Libya's Rebel Air Force & NATO Weakness

With the Libyan rebels continuing to fight against the Gaddafi regime, one of the things not talked about is the rebel air force or the Free Libya Air Force.
     When the rebels began fighting earlier this year, some elements of the the Libyan Air Force (LAF) defected. Those elements of the LAF that defected included several MiG-21s and MiG-23s that either defected or were captured at Misrata or Benina air bases. Other aircraft include 4 +/- Soko G-2 trainers, 1+ Mi-24 Hinds, and at least 3 Mi-2 Hoplite transport helicopter.
     The photo above is of 2 MiG-21bis fighters and 1 MiG-21UM trainer somewhere over Benghazi. At the beginning of the NATO-enforced "no-fly zone", there was little to none of Gaddafi's air force fighting, and when the "no-fly zone" began, much of what the LAF was doing, stopped. However, as the photo above shows, NATO is cutting the rebels some slack. 
     During the "no-fly zones" over southern and northern Iraq in the 1990s, coalition pilots shot down straying Iraqi aircraft quickly if they did not run away. In this instance though, NATO seems to be letting the rebels get away with flying and providing close air support while they sit back and enjoy the show.
     One of  the possible reasons NATO is letting the rebels use their air force is that NATO does not have enough ordnance. If this the reason why the rebels are flying then it shows an enormous gap in the capabilities of NATO members, and a serious problem for those countries  

Varyag Powering Up

     China Defense Blog found these photos showing the Varyag with lights on. Defense Tech also noticed that in the photo with the white/yellow lights, there is a JBD (Jet Blast Deflector) in the raised position.
     This is not the first time the Chinese have shown signs that they are nearing the Varyag's sea trials. Back in May, photos emerged showing exhaust coming from the Varyag's funnel, and more recently there were photos showing constrution equipment being removd from the Varyag.
      All this points towards the Varyag being almost ready for sea trials, and then maybe some intimidation in the South China Sea.                                     







Photo Credit: China Defense Blog