Old Aircraft-Carrier

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This Russian aircraft-carrier boat had a strange story. When it was being built it was called “Riga” – the name of Latvian capital city, but just after the construction was over and 20 minutes later the ceremony of the ship’s launching started they got a call from Moscow demanding to change the name to “VARYAG”, probably just because at that time Latvia demanded independence, so Russian government understood that if they leave the old name, in just a few months one of their top-ships would carry the name of the capital of the another state. So they called and changed the name same day the boat was launched. That was a bad sign.

A few years later, they couldn’t maintain it anymore, and the ship itself demanded some sort of upgrading so they decided to… sell it for iron-and-steel scrap! The company which bought it couldn’t transport it to scrap site, mainly because Turkey didn’t allow the private company to pass the big and scary aircraft-carrier through its waters it in time so it stayed for one and a half year and they seriously considered on abandoning it. Later they got permission from Turkey and moved it from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. And then in Mediterranean it has almost got stuck on sandbank. So it took it a few years to come to travel in its the last journey.

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34 thoughts on “Old Aircraft-Carrier”

  1. It’s been a long time since even a moderately interesting article was here, I wish more stories like this would be put up here.

  2. Not Russian, she was Soviet. She was build in Nikolaev (The Ukraine). After USSR collapse The Ukraine sold it abroad.

    • It does not get close to the size of US aircraft carriers. The Soviets tried to catch up to the US in the 80s when all of the sudden the US had 12 aircraft carriers and USSR had none (Kiev and Minsk small aircraft carriers not included as they could carry up to 15 VTOL airplanes only).
      This originates from the Soviet Navy doctrine of developing the underwater strike force where as the US Navy’s doctrine had been designing aircraft strike groups deployed all over the world.

      • US had the money to produce as much carriers the wanted.. but now it don’t. its called economy. and things are reversed now.. you talk as if Russians with money could never have done any war ship bigger than what the americans have.. which is plain wrong. history proof that. Actually is more challengind produce the biggest Airplane in the world Antonov 225..than the biggest aircraft carrier. any junk can float in water.. while it require really a master piece of engineering for an airplane like antonov to fly and carry space shuttle ships on his back.

  3. There is another curious fact. “VARYAG” is a Russian word for “VIKING”.
    This is funny, because many Russians nowdays do not like to be mentioned that once it was Norse nobles who ruled Kievan Rus and Novgorod.

  4. An interesting article.

    In fact, quite a few of them are.

    Unfortunately, the site is rendered almost unreadable by the quality of most of the comments.

    If you could exclude ‘comments’ from potty-mouthed children, and encourage genuinely informed, entertaining, or at least rational responses, then this site would be worth visiting more often.

  5. the chinese peoples’liberation army navy owns this carrier now. they bought by a “privately” from the ukraine under the false pretense of converting it to a floating casino. jane’s lists it as now being named the “Shi Lang”. it’s been completely refitted for active duty and is due for sea trials soon.

  6. Someone look it up, but is this the aircraft carrier that caused controversy when the Chinese military got it using a front company claiming to modify it to some casino/cruise?

    I remember them dragging it somewhere to China, went through everything and learned everything they can, and now China is building their own aircraft carriers from stolen technology around the world (yes, including US).

    On the subject of aircraft carrier it might be interesting to see how and where aircraft carriers are built.

  7. Never mind, thumper confirmed it. Wonder how long it’ll be before Chinese carriers float around Hawaii, and later to Cali. Does anyone know how close Soviet carriers got to US, and vice versa?

  8. Joan Crawford: reading the comments is *not* a prerequisite for visiting this site. Don’t like the comments? Don’t read ’em & stfu.

  9. Soviet Union didn’t have air craft carriers they had heavy aviation cruiser’s which means those bad boys didn’t just carry airplanes but missiles that packed a punch.

  10. China ! China !
    China learn how to stand up by using their brightness and diligence.

    China suffered nearly 3000 0000 people died in WW2,to resist the invasion of Japan from 1931 to 1945.

  11. По факту – Китай и Индия теперь имеют по полновесной авианесущей группировке. Угадайте с 3 раз какие и чьи корабли там флагманы и кто вероятный противник. Ничего в этом мире не происходит случайно, все давно просчитано и решено…

  12. the varyag was procured by the Chinese PLA using some private front cos who told the Ukranians that the Varyag would be converted into a casino.this shows the real face of the Chinese PLA n their civilian agents who scout the world for such technologies n acquire them thru illegitimate means.now we know the Chinese navy is doing trials of the retrofitted varyag which is now a PLA aircraft carrier,but without any aircrafts on board.so they will have to look for that again n try to get it.

  13. The “Shi Lang” was named after a Chinese admiral in the 1600’s that conquered Taiwan. Kind of symbolic huh ? Thier have been reports of seeing
    Chinese J-15’s on the deck now. These aircraft are Chinese copies of the Russian SU-33’s. Please
    correct me if im wrong, but i think Russia refused to sell the SU-33’s to China because China was only asking for Two aircraft ( to copy ). Russia was willing to sell 24 of them not
    Two. Mabey China received a copy from Ukraine ??

  14. 她现在叫“辽宁号”!她的两个妹妹也快出生了。

    为此,我们在继给赫鲁晓夫“一个一顿重的大勋章”之后,还要再给戈尔巴乔夫、叶利钦和克拉夫丘克每人“一个一顿重的大勋章”!

    向您致敬,伟大的苏联!“辽宁号”的母亲!

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