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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

China set to launch another aircraft carrier

China is to launch its most anticipated third aircraft carrier to enhance its influence in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions.

China is all set to launch its third aircraft carrier, the Type 003 which was due to be launched on the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Day (April 23) but was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

According to Global Times, with the resumption of the work at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, the third aircraft carrier would be launched soon.

Likewise, the Satellite imagery from May 31 shows that the dry dock has been cleared of other shipbuilding projects, leaving an open path for the flattop carrier to enter the Yangtze River.

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Moreover, a celebration ceremony was also held by the Research Institute of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), featuring the most anticipated aircraft carrier.

However, the recent reports suggest that the early launch of the carrier is resulting in technical and repair issues, suspending its operational readiness. Furthermore, a comprehensive examination would help to upgrade and overhaul the technical defaults in the carrier making it successful for its first flight operation.

China’s latest aircraft carrier is expected to be larger than the previous two carriers and will likely use electromagnetic catapults compared to the ski-jump ramps previously. Similarly, Type 003 is a flat-top flight deck equipped with a catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) system to operate the aircraft.

The CATOBAR is a more advanced system than the previously used systems like STOBAR, having the ability to launch aircraft at maximum take-off weight and a full payload. Additionally, the carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes along with weapon systems and sensors.

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Conclusively, this initiative will significantly contribute to China’s emerging naval power as it plans to build a fleet of nuclear-powered super carriers like those operated by the US Navy. Therefore, with such developments, the PLAN will be able to project its power and dominance in the Indian and Pacific oceans in addition to the South China Sea.