The Lowdown on the Liaoning


I’m gathering quite the collection of “don’t buy Russian” clippings. Here’s another one for the pile, as China experiences yet another big failure with their Russian-built baby aircraft carrier:


On at least one occasion during recent sea trials, Liaoning appeared to suffer a steam explosion which temporarily knocked out the carrier’s electrical power system. The failure, reported by Chinese media site, resulting from a leak in “the machine oven compartment to the water pipes.”

We’re only able to glimpse at the carrier’s engine problems, as we know very little about what’s inside the ship. This includes even what kind of engines Liaoning has.

The Chinese government also doesn’t like to admit to problems with its military hardware. When it does—and that’s never guaranteed—the admissions often come months or years after problems come up.

During the accident, hot water and steam began “spewing” out of the engine’s oven compartment, reported. One cabin became “instantly submerged in water vapor,” the report added.

The crew immediately evacuated the cabin, with one officer apparently pulling a sailor out by his collar to save him from the extremely hot steam. The carrier then lost power, but the crew “eventually restored power to ensure the smooth operation of the ship.”


A “mission kill” is when you damage an enemy ship enough to force it back to port without accomplishing its mission. What should we call it when a ship does it to itself? “Mission suicide” doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

Let’s just stick with calling it “don’t buy Russian.”


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