China makes progress with Third Aircraft Carrier

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Photographs recently published in China’s online forums show construction progress of country’s third aircraft carrier, commonly known as the Type 002.

At the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai were spotted the hull elements and modules of the new aircraft carrier, that will have a different design than Type 001 (Liaoning).

Differently, from previous generations, the new Chinese aircraft carrier will be equipped with modern electromagnetic launch systems, facilitating the deployment of heavier and better-armed fighter jets (fuel + payload); AWACS aircraft and other carrier-based special aircraft.

In 2015, media reports stated that the new ship develops will be fitted Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The third Chinese aircraft carrier will have a displacement of around 85,000 tonnes.

China has also developed a carrier-based fighter aircraft, the new variant of the J-15 carrier-based fighter modified for catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) operations, also the Shenyang J-31 fifth-generation jet fighter’s chief designer Sun Cong expressed his hope that the aircraft would follow his J-15 onto China’s aircraft carriers.

The construction of the first Type 002 class aircraft carrier started in February 2016. The Chinese military has yet to announce details regarding the new carrier.

The ship is expected to be launched in 2020 and enter active service in 2023.

The hull elements and modules of the new aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai

According to the Scramble Magazine, a first glimpse of how the carrier will look like was leaked by the Navy last month as it is already the centerpiece of a painting during a top Navy brass meeting at No.701 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

This article is written by DYLAN MALYASOV (Founder Defence-Blog)