Naval Air: China Borrows From The Best

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September 27, 2012: China recently commissioned its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. This 65,000 ton, 305 meter (999 feet) ship was seen with most of its equipment aboard during commissioning. One new item seen was firefighting vehicles. These looked like clones of the American A/S32P-25 (or "P-25" for short) firefighting vehicle found on U.S. carriers. The A/S32P-25 is a four wheel vehicle with seating for two and a main tank with 3,000 liters (750 gallons) of water, plus a tank with 340 liters (86 gallons) of foam, plus three portable 9 kg (20 pound) Halon fire extinguishers (for small electrical fires), and 91 kg (200 pounds) of Halon. The 8.6 ton vehicle also carries hoses (a 2,000 liter per minute vehicle mounted hose and a 400 liter per minute hand held hose) and pumps and is diesel powered. The vehicle is 4.9 meters (190 inches) long, the two man crew sits in uncovered seats. The idea is to have a fully equipped vehicle that can quickly reach and put out fires anywhere on the flight deck. Many of the deck crew are trained to fight fires and know how to use the gear carried by the P-25.

The Chinese may have built their firefighting vehicles simply by using publically available documents about the P-25 or they might have used technical date stolen electronically via the decade old Chinese Internet based espionage effort. It’s hard to tell and the truth may not be known for a long time.

 


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