Naval Air: April 9, 2002


The former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag, finally arrived in a northern China ship yard on March 3rd. It took four months to get from the Ukrainian yard where it was built. The Egyptians do not allow ships without engines to use the Suez canal, so the Varyag was towed down and around the coast of Africa. The cost of towing it all that distance was some $5 million. The Chinese paid Ukraine $25 for the Varyag, which was only 80 percent complete when the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of 1991. Much equipment was removed from the Varyag, or fell into disrepair, before a Chinese company came forward to buy the engineless hulk to be brought to South China and refitted as a floating casino and hotel. However, it has long been suspected that this was just a subterfuge by the Chinese navy to get the Varyag for military purposes. While it would cost several hundred million dollars to make Varyag into an operational aircraft carrier, the Chinese might consider this a cheap way to try out carrier operations. If nothing else, the Chinese could write off their Varyag expense as a learning experience. The business organization that bought the Varyag, did not obtain a casino license in the latest round of bidding for those scarce commodities. 


Article Archive

Naval Air: 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