Thursday 24 Jul 2014

Asia Pacific

Article taster from IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly 01 Januray 2014 issue.

Huangdican AB imagery shows scope of Chinese carrier ambitions

Sean O’Connor & James Hardy
IHS Jane’s Imagery Analyst & IHS JDW Asia-Pacific Editor 

Recent satellite imagery of the PLA Navy Air Force's (PLANAF's) Huangdican Airbase (AB) shows the extent of China's progress in creating training infrastructure for its carrier-based fighter aircraft - and its commitment to developing effective naval air power as a means to project power in its near seas.

The imagery also suggests that Ukraine will be unsuccessful in persuading China to rent its Soviet-era carrier aircraft training base the Nazemniy Ispitatelno-Tryenirovochniy Kompleks Aviatsii (NITKA). IHS Jane's reported in November that Kiev was looking to China as a potential tenant at the NITKA facility as the Russian Navy is refusing to pay more to extend its lease.

Located on the northwest coast of the Bohai Gulf, Huangdicun AB is about 8 km south of Xingcheng AB in the Shenyang Military Region. Construction of the training centre began in 2008 and ended in 2012. The first publicised test flight using the base's new facilities - by a Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark fighter aircraft - took place in January 2012.

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