According to author Harry J. Kazianis, China and Russia could be developing the most sophisticated naval vessels on Earth. What initially appeared to be a strategic alliance could grow into partnership devoted to building a joint aircraft carrier.
This aircraft carrier is considered to be the ultimate weapon on the high-seas. The reason for this joint venture could also be explained by Russia’s difficulties in developing advanced military hardware due to economic reasons.
However, there are the reasons for and the reasons against this deal. Because Russia is already struggling to modernize existing military due to money issues, such venture would cost additional billions of dollars.
There is also a chance that China might use this mutually developed technology against Russia at some point in the future.
China would like to be a part of this venture because aircraft carrier development for China has been a top priority for several decades. China has bought 3 Soviet era carriers in order to study them for further developments. One of those, the Varyag, was completely dismantled, studied and recreated into a more modern aircraft carrier.
If China wants to develop additional aircraft carriers, it has to invest in assets that will protect those carriers from submarines, missiles and other forms of military power that could sink the floating airfield. Such military development means would also cost China billions of dollars.
Another reason that could stop this Sino-Russo carrier development project is the advancement of technology.
Today, there are many weapons which can target aircraft carriers. A rapid increase in the number of missile platforms which could take over the dominance of aircraft carriers could be the reason for Russia and China to put their money into other military developments.
China has in its possession a weapon DF-21D, which is considered the carrier killer and it has the ability to eliminate a target with multiple warheads. It has been estimated that China has the resources to build 1,227 DF-21Ds for every carrier the United States builds in the future.
As China has invested a lot in technology which can be used to sink aircraft carriers, the reason why China would like to invest billions into developing aircraft carriers remains unknown.