PLAN Catapult Development Thread, News, etc.


Iron Man

Major
Registered Member
I think they're talking about Type 003, not carrier #3.
Well that is the point, isn't it? Hendrick makes it sound so easy for China to convert from civilian to nuclear reactors that it would seem to be some kind of absolute shocker that carrier #3 isn't going to have a nuclear reactor in it. Time will tell, but if China has nuclear carrier ambitions, then the lack of one on CV-18 will easily constitute strong evidence against the ease of converting from civilian to nuclear.

Maybe people didn't predict 4 under construction simultaneously, but many did predict a first batch of hulls might be somewhere between 4-8. Many also predicted years in advance that the PLAN might procure something along the lines of the Type 055. AndrewS is saying we can get an approximate idea of what the PLAN might be thinking. It would be a distortion to take what he said to mean that we can make confidently precise predictions about everything.
Predicting a batch of 4-8 hulls is dramatically different from predicting 4 being simultaneously constructed; they're not "approximately" close to each other in terms of pace. Even the US hasn't constructed more than 3 Burke hulls at a time, and the 055 is supposedly 2,000 tons larger. So you didn't really get anywhere near the target if you predicted that 4-8 055s are "in the first batch". So while you may take some stabs at the pace of PLAN's carrier ambitions and then fool yourself into think you know exactly or even just "approximately" what the PLAN has up its sleeve, in the end you're just totally guessing. Just like everybody else.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Well that is the point, isn't it? Hendrick makes it sound so easy for China to convert from civilian to nuclear reactors that it would seem to be some kind of absolute shocker that carrier #3 isn't going to have a nuclear reactor in it. Time will tell, but if China has nuclear carrier ambitions, then the lack of one on CV-18 will easily constitute strong evidence against the ease of converting from civilian to nuclear.
I don't think Hendrick was talking about CV-18 but CV-19 or CV-20, whichever one will be Type 003. I'll let him clarify for himself though.

Predicting a batch of 4-8 hulls is dramatically different from predicting 4 being simultaneously constructed; they're not "approximately" close to each other in terms of pace. Even the US hasn't constructed more than 3 Burke hulls at a time, and the 055 is supposedly 2,000 tons larger. So you didn't really get anywhere near the target if you predicted that 4-8 055s are "in the first batch". So while you may take some stabs at the pace of PLAN's carrier ambitions and then fool yourself into think you know exactly or even just "approximately" what the PLAN has up its sleeve, in the end you're just totally guessing. Just like everybody else.
That's beside the point I was making. Sometimes these "guesses" are right and sometimes they aren't. Doesn't mean there's no merit to the guesses though, and doesn't mean the basis from which guesses are derived are worthless or unfounded.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Well that is the point, isn't it? Hendrick makes it sound so easy for China to convert from civilian to nuclear reactors that it would seem to be some kind of absolute shocker that carrier #3 isn't going to have a nuclear reactor in it. Time will tell, but if China has nuclear carrier ambitions, then the lack of one on CV-18 will easily constitute strong evidence against the ease of converting from civilian to nuclear.
It is easy. Military reactor is almost identical to civilian reactor and they govern by the same standard. I don]t know what their planned is for the next carrier But they can put reactor if they want it to.
If they didn't It is not because of Technology bottle neck. After all they have been building 3rd gen submarine reactor
I know what I am talking about I spend a lot of time in the field

I have been following Chinese nuclear industry for along time and and I can say that
Chinese nuclear program is as good as anybody right now

US civilian nuclear program is now regressing and in dire strait. Westinghouse went bankrupt because they make too many mistake building nuclear component and has to redo it which is very costly.

The worker that built the old nuclear plant are all retired now and the young worker doesn't know what they are doing. Meanwhile the regulation is getting stricter
GE design is the one that cause Fukushima disaster I doubt any one will buy their design
Both Westinghouse and GE built the US military reactor

In the last 20 years there is only 2 new power plant built and both of them are not finish yet and suffer from cost overrun

When I start there are tens if not hundred colleges offering nuclear engineering program Now there aren't many left maybe 2 or 3 colleges

China doesn't built nuclear CV yet is because of the cost
Nuclear power plant cost 5 or 6 times more than conventional power plant and take much longer time to built. Right now there is urgency to get the carrier program going as fast as possible.
China is not world police and has no interest in becoming one
So why do you need nuclear power carrier?. Their far sea doctrine only call for mastery of 2nd island chain and that is not for another 10 years . their carrier radius of operation is limited by africa in the west and west pacific in the east
 
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Iron Man

Major
Registered Member
I don't think Hendrick was talking about CV-18 but CV-19 or CV-20, whichever one will be Type 003. I'll let him clarify for himself though.
Again you're missing the point, which is if it is so easy to convert from commercial nuclear reactors to naval reactors and China has nuclear carrier ambitions, why isn't CV-18 expected to have nuclear reactors? The answer is pretty obvious to me. It's not so easy as claimed.

That's beside the point I was making. Sometimes these "guesses" are right and sometimes they aren't. Doesn't mean there's no merit to the guesses though, and doesn't mean the basis from which guesses are derived are worthless or unfounded.
It is actually the point. If you don't have a solid track record, what makes your particular guesses any more "educated" than mine?

China doesn't built nuclear CV yet is because of the cost
Nuclear power plant cost 5 or 6 times more than conventional power plant and take much longer time to built. Right now there is urgency to get the carrier program going as fast as possible.
China is not world police and has no interest in becoming one
So why do you need nuclear power carrier?. Their far sea doctrine only call for mastery of 2nd island chain and that is not for another 10 years . their carrier radius of operation is limited by africa in the west and west pacific in the east
A conventional carrier's "radius of operation" is certainly not limited by deployments to the Western Pacific or even to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, especially now that Djibouti and Gwadar and maybe even ports in Burma and Sri Lanka are being set up to resupply Chinese military forces. It isn't a question of endurance for the PLAN's current and projected theaters of operation. Nor is it a question of being the "world's police"; even if China does not have such ambitions it certainly does have ambitions to protect its trade routes from the Middle East and open up access through the Western Pacific. It is a question of sortie capacity and to a lesser extent, future-proofing. If you think sortie capacity isn't high on the list of importance to the PLAN, just ask yourself why the PLAN would commit the large amount of money needed to an entirely new giant high-speed resupply ship class that the USN is actually retiring because it finds them too expensive to operate. In any case, as I mentioned any conventional carrier built is essentially future-dead WRT high-energy demand systems such as EM cats, lasers and rail guns, and if China has nuclear carrier ambitions, will also not easily fit into a uniform carrier deployment cycle and logistics chain in the future. As for the cost, GAO estimated lifetime costs for conventional and nuclear carriers at $14.1billion and $22.2 billion, respectively, hardly the "5 or 6 times" that you claim. As for time of construction, both Kitty Hawk and Nimitz class carriers had very similar times of about 3 years from laid down to launched, so whatever greater time it takes to construct a nuclear reactor for the Nimitz had a negligible impact on their overall construction times.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
I am not talking lifetime cost I am talking capital cost with oil price goes up and down it is fantasy to talk about lifetime cost
Who knows That estimate maybe based on$100/barrel oil Right now it is half of it
Then if you have accident like Fukushima the cost will go exponentially
 
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Lethe

Senior Member
Again you're missing the point, which is if it is so easy to convert from commercial nuclear reactors to naval reactors and China has nuclear carrier ambitions, why isn't CV-18 expected to have nuclear reactors? The answer is pretty obvious to me. It's not so easy as claimed.
I don't think it is a matter of "easy" or "difficult" as about timelines. First China needs to decide on a long-term vision for its aircraft carriers: how many, how big, and when. Then it needs to draw up notional specifications for a nuclear power plant that fits the answers to those questions, including uncertainties (clean-sheet or derivative, thermal and electrical output, technologies incorporated). Then it needs to implement that project.

China could undoubtedly fit a nuclear reactor on a ship at very short notice -- just borrow some 093/094 reactors like CdG -- but what would be the point? China is (probably) not looking to build a one or two-of design like CdG, and it has the resources to do the job properly. Nor does it need to validate experimental principles because these are already well understood through a combination of civilian nuclear operation, submarine nuclear operation, and conventional carrier operation. PLAN does not need an expensive experimental platform like Enterprise, rather it needs a solution matched to its long-term requirements, and that takes time, not least of all because it requires PLAN to work out what those requirements are.
 
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Iron Man

Major
Registered Member
I am not talking lifetime cost I am talking capital cost with oil price goes up and down it is fantasy to talk about lifetime cost
Who knows That estimate maybe based on$100/barrel oil Right now it is half of it
Then if you have accident like Fukushima the cost will go exponentially
Yes, it's fantasy. I'm sure that's why GAO talks about it. This carrier cost estimate was made in 1998, so you can google oil prices for yourself. My google-fu tells me that in 2016 inflation-adjusted dollars, the price of oil in 1998 was $17.60/barrel, not $100. Sorry man.

I don't think it is a matter of "easy" or "difficult" as about timelines. First China needs to decide on a long-term vision for its aircraft carriers: how many, how big, and when. Then it needs to draw up notional specifications for a nuclear power plant that fits the answers to those questions, including uncertainties (clean-sheet or derivative, thermal and electrical output, technologies incorporated). Then it needs to implement that project.

China could undoubtedly fit a nuclear reactor on a ship at very short notice -- just borrow some 093/094 reactors like CdG -- but what would be the point? China is (probably) not looking to build a one or two-of design like CdG, and it has the resources to do the job properly. Nor does it need to validate experimental principles because these are already well understood through a combination of civilian nuclear operation, submarine nuclear operation, and conventional carrier operation. PLAN does not need an expensive experimental platform like Enterprise, rather it needs a solution matched to its long-term requirements, and that takes time, not least of all because it requires PLAN to work out what those requirements are.
It seems the general gist of your claim is not technology or strategic need, but rather lack of vision. It is impossible to verify or rebut this claim since nobody here has access to the PLAN's inner circle. What I will say is that this particular claim does not directly invalidate the claim that it may not be as easy to develop navalized nuclear plants as Hendrick is trying to portray.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Again you're missing the point, which is if it is so easy to convert from commercial nuclear reactors to naval reactors and China has nuclear carrier ambitions, why isn't CV-18 expected to have nuclear reactors? The answer is pretty obvious to me. It's not so easy as claimed.
And you're so sure the bottleneck is the technological ability and not ship design or program lead time or requirement mismatch, etc. because?

It is actually the point. If you don't have a solid track record, what makes your particular guesses any more "educated" than mine?
Did I make any claim about your guesses?
 

Iron Man

Major
Registered Member
And you're so sure the bottleneck is the technological ability and not ship design or program lead time or requirement mismatch, etc. because?


Did I make any claim about your guesses?
It's definitely not "ship design". CV-18 is a new ship design, and if a nuclear reactor was ready for that ship and the PLAN wanted a nuclear carrier, it would have been on that ship. The Charles De Gaulle is 43,000 tons full and is a nuclear carrier, so it's not a matter of size either. "Program lead time" is essentially the same as technological ability in that the technology is not ready for CV-18 which has been my point this entire time, whereas Hendrick thinks the choice of conventional for CV-18 was a matter of cost not technology. "Requirement mismatch" could be argued, though I did already address this point by saying that perhaps nuclear carriers are not in the PLAN's future plans. The argument that the PLAN did not require nuclear carriers currently was also addressed by me earlier.
 

delft

Brigadier
If China wants to build nuclear powered carriers, and that seems to me very likely, it will no doubt wait until it has sufficient experience with carriers before going to the added investment expense of going to nuclear propulsion. A specialized nuclear power plant will be in development to be ready in time for that first nuclear powered carrier (Type 003 ?) whenever that will be build or earlier if that carrier is delayed by trouble with Type 002.
 

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