China’s first aircraft carrier, the Varyag, has been spotted by a satellite. Images show the huge vessel sailing in the Yellow Sea, and although it’s not doing anything unusual, the mere fact that it has been spotted has caused a stir of excitement around the world.
China denied for a long time that the Varyag even existed, only acknowleding it when it finally sent the vessel out for its maiden run. The precise technical specifications of the vessel are something of a mystery, and analysts are sure to be examining the photo in minute detail. For now, it looks long, thin and grey.
The Varyag was actually built, mostly, by Russia before China stepped in and purchased it. The vessel was then towed from Ukraine to the Dalian shipyard, where it spent nearly a decade being stripped down and refitted. It was reported earlier this year that the Varyag was finally entering operation.