Intelligence: May 5, 2005


Reports that the Chinese were working on the ex-Russian aircraft carrier Varyag elicited some interest in the Pentagon. The people responsible for keeping an eye on such things, ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) reacted with a big yawn. ONI is not terribly concerned with the Varyag, and believe that recent photos show nothing going on. ONI also likes to point out that Varyag is tied up at a disused container loading pier at Dalian, which ONI does not consider a naval base. Going back to our Chinese sources, we were informed that the Varyag is under military guard at that pier, and that the guards will only say the ship "is under conversion for a military purpose." Its not known if ONI sent anyone to have a chat with the guards. Those observers also noted that the pier Varyag was tied up at did not contain any heavy construction equipment (cranes). But there was activity on the Varyag itself, which even ONI noted. Trucks were taking stuff in, and out. Much of the ship shows signs of deterioration, but other parts have a fresh coat of paint. And people have seen electronic gear being taken aboard. Somethings going on with the Varyag. Maybe theres using it to make a movie? Or doing mockups of new layouts for Chinese carrier designs? The Chinese may simply be carefully examining how the Varyag was put together. The Russians put a lot of time and effort into the design of that class of ships, wisdom the Chinese could use in building their own carrier. Or maybe the ship is being fitted out as some kind of troop/equipment transport. Whatever is going on, its not being scrapped.


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close