Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China’s second aircraft carrier can carry at least 36 domestically developed J-15 fighter jets, some 50 percent more than the country’s first, state broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, can carry 24 J-15 fighter jets, China Central Television (CCTV) reported, noting the new ship’s increased number of fighter jets will add to its already considerable capability.

Although the second carrier known as the Type 001A is similar to the Liaoning, it has an optimized flight deck, reduced weapon areas and a smaller superstructure with added deck areas, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday, noting that it also has an enlarged hanger, but reduced space for missile storage compared to the Liaoning.

These extra areas allow the new carrier to carry 50 percent more J-15 fighter jets, Li said.

The 24 J-15s of the Liaoning could be a limit factor as a regional combat might require about 40 aircraft in order to seize air supremacy, according to Li. The 36 fighter jets on the Type 001A would greatly expand its combat capability, he said.

In addition to the 36 J-15 fighter jets, the medium-sized Type 001A can carry other types of aircraft including helicopters, analysts said.

The US operates much larger aircraft carriers, including the Nimitz class which can carry about 60 aircraft, while the country’s latest Ford class can carry about 75.

Hu Wenming, chairman of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and head of China’s aircraft carrier program, said “China now has a mature development and construction team, and the average age of team members is only 36,” CCTV reported.

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“Whatever type of aircraft carrier our country wants to develop in the future, we can make it on our own,” Hu said, noting that the team can build any other type of warship given its current expertise.

It took only 26 months to build and launch the Type 001A, which is China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier, almost half of the time for a foreign aircraft carrier of similar type to finish construction, CCTV reported.

The Type 001A was launched in April 2017 and has undertaken six sea trials since May 2018.

It is reportedly conducting its seventh sea trial, after setting sail on August 1. There are no signs the ship has returned to its dock as of press time.

Li said the latest, lengthy sea trial could be in preparation for its final delivery to the Chinese Navy.


Source: Global Times

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  1. There is nothing revolutionary : as the Kuznetsov, the Liaonng (ex-Varyag) was built by the Soviets at Ukraine’s Black Sea shipyards, but you don’t have the right to go through Boshporus with a more than 15,000t aircraft carrier while an aircraft-carrying cruiser is OK…
    Thus, more than half the under-deck area = missile compartiments and the hangar size is limited…
    There is nothing special at diminishing the number of missiles onboard as there is no plan to use the Bosphorus.
    What would have been revolutionary would have had put no island at all, just a frigate mast supporting radars/antennas and replacing direct visuals by more efficient electro-optics.
    It still uses copies of the Varyag’s boilers. Note the video doesn’t shows the ship sailing or has plans on the chimney. My 2c it’s a freaking smoker!

    Having 36 J-15 won’t bring so much : due to weight and short run, Flankers are ultra-limited in payload when used with a ski-jump on a 300m ship.
    The next ship with catapults may not be so easy, especially since the Chinese consider EMALS. US are at it for several decades and these are so troublesome (and costly) that Trump ordered to switch back to steam catapults on next two ships on order. The 2 reactors on the USS G.Ford, despite their power is classified, are said about 750MWe each and it still needs giant accumulators to supply the EMALS, and you need a long time to load these, making the time between each launch much longer than what was expected…
    In other terms, EMALS sux!

    • You will still be whining about how unrevolutionary their navy is when one day they have far outstripped the US navy. That is how the Chinese operate, rapid, small iterations that add up until they dominate
      a technological area …
      The revolutionary part is how quickly they’ve been able to obtain and produce this technology. Since their mass manufacturing capabilities are superior to the west, they will iterate faster and at larger scale.
      My estimate is 10 years before they have a larger more technologically advanced navy than the US.

      • That’s what they hope.
        You know, reverse engineering has nothing revolutionary.
        It took 17 months to Newport News to build the 305m USS Midway (27 October 1943-20 March 1945) and she served until 1992. She had 2 catapults at the start and was added a third in 1957.
        There is still a loooong way to go to be at the level of an US aircraft carrier from… 60 years ago…
        For now, all I see them doing is basing on reverse engineering or espionage…
        And Jiping pretty aggressive policies on neighbours are very likely to end with strategic containment. As minimum salaries rose, it’s now even cheaper to build an Industry in Romania or Bulgaria than in China, India and Indonesia have became more attractive too and in the wake of Trump, many now think they’ve been too lenient with tariffs on Chinese-produced goods while the debt-trap policy China has done with several countries makes that now everybody shies away from the OBOR policy or from borrowing money from Chinese banks and for sure, everybody has understood Chinese ambitions, and this is the major issue for them : everybody sees them coming and from afar…
        You also don’t seem to get that USA is not alone, far from it.
        Trump has already spoken about letting Japan and SoKo nuclearising, add Taiwan to the list and Beijing will go bonkers, BTW, it may come from elsewhere : Since China is pi$$ing off India at backing Paki terrorists, India could consider, since they’re not in NPT, and so is it for Taiwan, to sell off the shelves nukes to TW, and maybe some other countries, e.g. Vietnam, the Philippines, etc…

        To be frank, the best thing China could do is staying out of the big game and going on enjoying to be the factory of the world. her #1 client is USA and the #2 is the EU. If USA+EU cut the pipeline, China will be very sorry, especially as even with her posture, she has what? 300 millions unemployed people…
        Moreover, with an aggressive posture, you may have many other countries following, hey, they’re already all speaking of an Asian NATO to contain China…
        By challenging UNCLOS and other international laws, e.g. their fishing boats looting African EEZs and recently trying this game on the UN CITES-protected nature sanctuary of the Galapagos, China will end with everybody turning their back on her… Just think that China vetoed 4x the designation of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC… Hey, this Jackal mainly did terrorism in India which is also a BRICS country… And they’re blindly covering Pakistan’s bütt while the main backing of Uyghur jihadists comes from Pakistan and…
        The best way China can avoid it is… Giving back the Chinese occupied Kashmir to India!

        Building a big navy isn’t everything. China is building itself unfriendliness with near ALL its neighbours, partners and several major actors. It can only end backfiring.