First impressive images of China’s Aircraft Carrier Battle Group

Images of China’s aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships were released by the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) to celebrate the battle group’s first successful deployment.

Along with Liaoning, 10 more warships took part in the parade (which reminds the American ones): three destroyers, three frigates, three submarines and an amphibious assault ship. A total of eight jet fighters overflew the BG during the return leg of the cruise to Qingdao home port on China’s east coast.

But, as pointed out by defense journalist David Axe on War is Boring, the shots reveal the weaknesses in Chinese naval organization.

The secret to American naval power is the capability to support flattops by means of logistics ships, including tankers, dry stores vessels and ammunition ships.

“The Pentagon’s three-dozen active combat-support vessels, manned mostly by civilian mariners, busily crisscross the globe, carefully plotting their courses to regularly meet up with the carriers and other task forces in order to refuel and resupply them. But no logistics ships are visible in Liaoning’s recent photos. That could be because China possesses only a token naval logistical flotilla—and mostly uses it to support Beijing’s counter-piracy force off of East Africa. “Limited logistical support remains a key obstacle preventing the [Chinese] Navy from operating more extensively beyond East Asia,” the Pentagon reported recently” Axe explains.

Therefore, an image whose aim was to project an image of strength, also highlights the limits of the current Chinese maritime power.

Image credit: via Chinese Defense Blog


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.