CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Friday, July 7, 2017




BRITISH AND CHINESE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OBSOLETE AT BEST AT THE GET GO


Touchdown! Big Lizzie receives airborne guests as Merlin helicopters make history by becoming first aircraft to land on the £3.1billion supercarrier


  • A pair of Merlin helicopters became the first aircraft to land onboard the £3.1billion HMS Queen Elizabeth
  • They were from 820 Naval Air Squadron and touched down on the huge four acre flight deck on Monday
  • The 65,000-tonne vessel will eventually be able to operate up to 36 F-35 Lightening II jets and 14 helicopters



Merlin helicopters have today made history by becoming the first aircraft to land on the £3.1billion supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. 
The pair of helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron touched down on her four acre flight deck on Monday. 
The huge 65,000-tonne vessel, the largest in the Royal Navy, will eventually be capable of operating up to 36 F-35 Lightening II jets and 14 helicopters. 
In particular, members of the Ship's Air Department, which provides air traffic control, flight deck management, flight planning and meteorological services, have been busy training for today.
The squadron based in RNAS Culdrose has conducted the first ever deck landing onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth earlier today
The squadron based in RNAS Culdrose has conducted the first ever deck landing onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth earlier today
A pair of Royal Navy helicopters (one pictured here) touched down on the four acre flight deck on Monday afternoon 
A pair of Royal Navy helicopters (one pictured here) touched down on the four acre flight deck on Monday afternoon 
The two Merlin helicopters (pictured) made history today by becoming the first aircraft to land on the £3.1billion supercarrier
The two Merlin helicopters (pictured) made history today by becoming the first aircraft to land on the £3.1billion supercarrier
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They have been learning how to operate aircraft from such a large deck and getting to grips with the state-of-the-art equipment they now have available at their finger tips. 
It comes as the vessel was photographed last week making its way towards the North Sea with no planes on board.  
Captain Jerry Kyd, Commanding Officer, said: 'HMS Queen Elizabeth is an incredibly flexible and powerful aircraft carrier, able to operate an array of different aircraft and offering global reach in support of UK national interests and meeting our security needs for the next 50 years. 
'I, and the Ship's Company, are delighted that 820 Naval Air Squadron have conducted the very first deck landing to HMS Queen Elizabeth today.
'It is an exciting and historical event which marks the beginning of her life as the Nation's Flagship and the future of carrier based aviation. 
'It's been a demanding but proud and exciting week for us, the ship is bustling with activity and it's been fantastic to see this extend now to the flight deck just four days after sailing.'
The helicopter had ample space as it came in to land on the huge aircraft carrier. The helicopter was piloted by Lt Luke Wraith from 820 Squadron, based in Culdrose 
The helicopter had ample space as it came in to land on the huge aircraft carrier. The helicopter was piloted by Lt Luke Wraith from 820 Squadron, based in Culdrose 
The Merlin helicopter circled the vessel before landing on its four acre flight deck. The aircraft carrier will eventually be able to operate up to 36 F-35 Lightning II jets and 14 helicopters 
The Merlin helicopter circled the vessel before landing on its four acre flight deck. The aircraft carrier will eventually be able to operate up to 36 F-35 Lightning II jets and 14 helicopters 
Staff onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth were able to help the pilot land on the huge aircraft carrier on Monday afternoon 
Staff onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth were able to help the pilot land on the huge aircraft carrier on Monday afternoon 
For the next six weeks, the huge vessel will spend her time in the North Sea and Moray Firth 'proving systems'.
She will finally head to her new home of Portsmouth, Hampshire, later this autumn. 
Last week, life-size models of the F-35 Lightning II jets were pushed around tarmac at Cornwall's RNAS Culdrose so flight deck teams could get a feel for the world's most advanced warplanes.
The real jets will be deployed on the vessel - named 'Big Lizzie' - which was put into the sea for the first time in Scotland last Monday.


China's first aircraft carrier arrives in Hong Kong to mark 20 years since the handover of the city from British rule after the giant ship was rescued from a Russian SCRAPYARD

  • The 1,000ft Liaoning has arrived in Hong Kong along with two destroyers and other ships from its strike group
  • Chinese aircraft carrier's visit was to celebrate 20 years since handover of the city from British to Chinese rule
  • Its presence in Hong Kong was a show of China's growing military strength amid rising tensions in the region



China's giant new aircraft carrier sailed into Hong Kong waters today, its latest show of growing military might at a time of rising regional tension.
Tourists and residents gathered to catch a glimpse of Beijing's first carrier on its maiden visit to Hong Kong, part of celebrations marking 20 years since the handover of the city from British to Chinese rule.
The Liaoning was accompanied by two destroyers and other ships from its strike group, with jet fighters and helicopters visible on the flight deck alongside hundreds of crew dressed in white uniforms.
The 1,000ft ship started life as one of the Soviet Union's last carriers under construction, before being sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998. 
It was later refitted in a northern Chinese shipyard in what was seen by foreign military analysts as a key early test of China's naval modernisation.
China is producing warships at a rapid rate as it revamps its navy, which has been taking an increasingly prominent role among the country's armed forces. State media has said that the navy commissioned 18 ships, including destroyers, corvettes and guided-missile frigates in 2016. 
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China's first aircraft carrier sailed into Hong Kong waters today, its latest show of growing military might at a time of rising regional tension
China's first aircraft carrier sailed into Hong Kong waters today, its latest show of growing military might at a time of rising regional tension
Tourists and residents gathered to catch a glimpse of the massive carrier on its maiden visit to Hong Kong, part of celebrations marking 20 years since the handover of the city from British to Chinese rule
Tourists and residents gathered to catch a glimpse of the massive carrier on its maiden visit to Hong Kong, part of celebrations marking 20 years since the handover of the city from British to Chinese rule
The Liaoning was accompanied by two destroyers and other ships from its strike group, with jet fighters and helicopters visible on the flight deck alongside hundreds of crew dressed in white uniforms
The Liaoning was accompanied by two destroyers and other ships from its strike group, with jet fighters and helicopters visible on the flight deck alongside hundreds of crew dressed in white uniforms
The 1,000ft ship started life as one of the Soviet Union's last carriers under construction, before being sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998. It is pictured here at a dry dock at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province, China, in 2009 before its refit
The 1,000ft ship started life as one of the Soviet Union's last carriers under construction, before being sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998. It is pictured here at a dry dock at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province, China, in 2009 before its refit
China bought the ship in the 1990s when it was called Varyag. It is pictured above at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province in 2011
China bought the ship in the 1990s when it was called Varyag. It is pictured above at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province in 2011
China's new aircraft Liaoning carrier sails into Hong Kong waters
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Anchoring off Lantau island in the harbour's outer reaches, the carrier was flanked by a protective cordon of marine police craft and a locally-based Chinese navy corvette.
Police boats sounded horns to prevent private vessels getting any closer than a few hundred meters of the Liaoning.
'The Liaoning's visit shows that China is a militarily superior country,' said Jack Chan, a retired businessman, who was watching the aircraft carrier from an oceanfront park.
Thousands of Hong Kong residents queued for hours on Monday for just 2,000 tickets for access to the vessel this weekend. Many left empty handed.
Anchoring off Lantau island in the harbour's outer reaches, the carrier was flanked by a protective cordon of marine police craft and a locally-based Chinese navy corvette
Anchoring off Lantau island in the harbour's outer reaches, the carrier was flanked by a protective cordon of marine police craft and a locally-based Chinese navy corvette
Police boats sounded horns to prevent private vessels getting any closer than a few hundred meters of the Liaoning
Police boats sounded horns to prevent private vessels getting any closer than a few hundred meters of the Liaoning
Setting sail: The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, arrives in Hong Kong for a port call today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison's presence in the semi-autonomous Chinese city
Setting sail: The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, arrives in Hong Kong for a port call today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison's presence in the semi-autonomous Chinese city
China's first domestically built carrier was launched in April but is not yet operational. 
Even though the former Russian naval ship is being used as a training vessel for China's rapidly modernising navy, its recent voyages through tense regional seas have been closely followed in Hong Kong, which is more used to hosting U.S. carriers and other foreign warships.
'Liaoning's visit definitely gives the central government a chance to display its military power. It's quite a positive and smart strategy to step up publicity overall,' said Sean Moran, a tourist from the United States, as the ship passed on a blustery morning. 
Thousands of Hong Kong residents queued for hours on Monday for just 2,000 tickets for access to the vessel this weekend. Many left empty handed
Thousands of Hong Kong residents queued for hours on Monday for just 2,000 tickets for access to the vessel this weekend. Many left empty handed
The Liaoning's most recent drills at the weekend included operations in the Taiwan Strait that were closely monitored by Taiwan's military given recent tensions with Beijing, which regards the island as a breakaway province
The Liaoning's most recent drills at the weekend included operations in the Taiwan Strait that were closely monitored by Taiwan's military given recent tensions with Beijing, which regards the island as a breakaway province
With its Soviet-era takeoff ramp distinguishing it from the ordinary Hong Kong traffic of container ships and bulk cargo vessels, the 55,000-tonne Liaoning steamed down the congested East Lamma channel shortly after dawn
With its Soviet-era takeoff ramp distinguishing it from the ordinary Hong Kong traffic of container ships and bulk cargo vessels, the 55,000-tonne Liaoning steamed down the congested East Lamma channel shortly after dawn
 Significantly smaller than the U.S. carriers that have long stopped in Hong Kong, the Liaoning started life as one of the Soviet Union's last carriers under construction, before being sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998
 Significantly smaller than the U.S. carriers that have long stopped in Hong Kong, the Liaoning started life as one of the Soviet Union's last carriers under construction, before being sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998
U.S. consulate officials told Reuters they had yet to be invited on board the Liaoning. The U.S. navy often hosts People's Liberation Army officers on ships visiting Hong Kong, sometimes flying Chinese military chiefs to aircraft carriers. 
The Liaoning's most recent drills at the weekend included operations in the Taiwan Strait that were closely monitored by Taiwan's military given recent tensions with Beijing, which regards the island as a breakaway province.
With its Soviet-era takeoff ramp distinguishing it from the ordinary Hong Kong traffic of container ships and bulk cargo vessels, the 55,000-tonne Liaoning steamed down the congested East Lamma channel shortly after dawn. 
The Liaoning began sea trials as China's first aircraft carrier in 2011 and has more recently conducted fully integrated drills with its complement of J-15 jet fighters and a variety of support ships. 
The vessel was later refitted in a Chinese shipyard in what was seen by foreign military analysts as a key early test of China's naval modernisation
The vessel was later refitted in a Chinese shipyard in what was seen by foreign military analysts as a key early test of China's naval modernisation
The vessel was refitted in a Chinese shipyard in what was seen by foreign military analysts as a key early test of China's naval modernisation
The vessel was refitted in a Chinese shipyard in what was seen by foreign military analysts as a key early test of China's naval modernisation
The Liaoning began sea trials as China's first aircraft carrier in 2011 and has more recently conducted fully integrated drills with its complement of J-15 jet fighters and a variety of support ships
The Liaoning began sea trials as China's first aircraft carrier in 2011 and has more recently conducted fully integrated drills with its complement of J-15 jet fighters and a variety of support ships
China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier in April, though it is not expected to enter service until around 2020 once it has been fully equipped and armed
China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier in April, though it is not expected to enter service until around 2020 once it has been fully equipped and armed
The Liaoning arrived on Friday with its escorts of two guided missile destroyers and one missile frigate, dropping anchor at a naval base across from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island
The Liaoning arrived on Friday with its escorts of two guided missile destroyers and one missile frigate, dropping anchor at a naval base across from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island
The 1,000 ft Liaoning, a secondhand Soviet ship built nearly 30 years ago and commissioned in 2012, arrived in Hong Kong early Friday, as a rainbow appeared overhead
The 1,000 ft Liaoning, a secondhand Soviet ship built nearly 30 years ago and commissioned in 2012, arrived in Hong Kong early Friday, as a rainbow appeared overhead
The aircraft carrier sailed through the East Lamma Channel, passing by residential buildings located on the south coast of Hong Kong island, and was berthed near the Tsing Yi region
The aircraft carrier sailed through the East Lamma Channel, passing by residential buildings located on the south coast of Hong Kong island, and was berthed near the Tsing Yi region
Authorities set up a temporary no-fly zone in the area where the Liaoning will be berthed near the city's Tsing Ma suspension bridge
Authorities set up a temporary no-fly zone in the area where the Liaoning will be berthed near the city's Tsing Ma suspension bridge
Transformation: The ship has been overhauled and fitted out to become China's first aircraft carrier. This is how the former Soviet vessel looked in 2011
Transformation: The ship has been overhauled and fitted out to become China's first aircraft carrier. This is how the former Soviet vessel looked in 2011
The rusting ship, then called Varyag, was taken to a port in Dalian, Liaoning province before being transformed. It is pictured here in 2011
The rusting ship, then called Varyag, was taken to a port in Dalian, Liaoning province before being transformed. It is pictured here in 2011
The ship was sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998 and later became the country's first aircraft carrier
The ship was sold by Ukraine as a stripped down hulk to private Chinese interests in 1998 and later became the country's first aircraft carrier
Refit: The transformation from a rusting hulk to a new aircraft carrier took years and is part of the Chinese navy's modernisation 
Refit: The transformation from a rusting hulk to a new aircraft carrier took years and is part of the Chinese navy's modernisation 
The ship, pictured in April 2011, was a rusting hulk when it was sold to the country in the 1990s. It has now sailed into Hong Kong as China's first aircraft carrier
The ship, pictured in April 2011, was a rusting hulk when it was sold to the country in the 1990s. It has now sailed into Hong Kong as China's first aircraft carrier

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