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Aircraft Carrier - Phase 1 - Study Foreign Technology

1985 - HMAS Melbourne

In 1985 China purchased the 17,000-ton former Royal Australian Navy aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne as scrap, and she was finally broken up in Dalian, China. According to some reports, as late as 1994 the ship was still in existence at Guangzhou, China, being studied by Chinese naval architects. The hulk had been stripped of all useful equipment prior to sale, but Australian Navy sources reportedly said that the Chinese were particularly interested in the ship's steam catapult, even requesting the operating manuals. It was said that a navy unit had built a simulated flying deck at its airport in northern China. The design of the Melbourne was taken for reference. Reportedly, the airborne troops of the navy used the deck to carry out numerous flying tests. The improved deck adopted the optical landing system designed and developed by China.

1995 - Empresa Nacional Bazan CTOL

In 1995 a Spanish firm, Empresa Nacional Bazan, was reported to have offered to build China two conventional takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) vessels, with the first to be delivered within five years and the second roughly three years later. While China was reported to have expressed an interest, a deal was not reached.

1995 - Clemenceau

In late 1995, France was reported to have offerred the retired aircraft carrier Clemenceau for free, provided that China bought radar and communications systems from French companies. Nothing came of the offer.

1998 - Minsk

In 1993 China began negotiations with Russia for the purchase of two Kiev-class 40,000-ton carriers (the Kiev and Minsk) and the still-incomplete Varyag, though initially with no results.

In 1998 the Minsk, a 40,000-ton Kiev-class VTOL aircraft carrier, was purchased from a South Korean shipbreaking company by the Minsk Aircraft Carrier Industry Company, a Chinese firm. The South Korean firm stripped the vessel of its armaments, engines, and communications suite and required that the vessel would not be used for military purposes. The Chinese company had the ship towed to Guangdong Province, where it planned to convert the ship into a floating museum. In September 2000 the ship was moved to Shenzhen to become part of a theme park called Minsk World.

2000 - Kiev

In May 2000, separate from the sale of the Varyag, the Tianma Shipbreaking Company in Tianjin purchased the Kiev from Russia. While the initial contract required that the ship be scrapped, the contract was renogatiated so that the Kiev would become a tourist attraction at the Beiyang Recreation Harbor. A blaze happened on 05 September 2003 in the body of the Kiev killed two workers who were refitting the carrier. Aircraft carrier Kiev, which was retired from active duty and subsequently bought by China, was open to visitors in Qinhuangdao, a coastal city of North China's Hebei Province, September 13, 2003. Kiev was sent to Shanhaiguan dockyard of Qinhuangdao to be refitted for tourism and other purposes. The aircraft carrier left Qinhuangdao for Tianjin Sunday morning, September 14, 2003. By August 2011 the Carrier Kiev was permanently anchored at Bagua Beach in Tianjin's Hangu district, converted into a military theme park and hotel. Located at the Binhai New Area, a coastal area of east Tianjin, its rich in touring sites with unique touring products. Binhai New Area boasts special sightseeing spots, e.g., sea, port, gulf, fort, fishermen dock, Ancient Haimen Temple, Haihe Bund Park, Yanghuo Shichang and KIEV carrier, etc. By boarding on the carrier, tourists can visit its exhibiting zone, e.g. deck, weapon equipment, garage and torpedo cabin, etc., and fully enjoy the power of the giant on the sea of former days.




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