According to a US Congressional Research, the ex-Soviet carrier is expected to become operational in two years as a training carrier supporting the first Chinese carrier air wing. According to US Naval Intelligence reports, ‘China currently is building nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. A Hong Kong newspaper recently confirmed the existence of the Chinese carrier program, citing official Chinese sources). The new carriers could be built at the newly expanded Jiangnan Shipyard, at the Changxing Dao island off Shanghai. The two indigenous built carriers will could be ready by 2017 and join the Chinese fleet present in the South China Sea, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
One aircraft carrier – Varyag, bought as a surplus Kuznetsov class carrier from Russia – is already under construction in Dalian shipyards. By December 2010 Varyag was moved to an open position along the pier, adjacent to the dry dock shown above. The construction of the island has been completed and all major upgrades seem to be completed, as the ship is prepared for its relaunching. Photo: Eros B satellite by Imagesat International BV.