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. No surprise : about the half of the under-deck area is reserved for missiles’ storage and launchers on the Kuznetsov-class which the Lianoning (ex-Varyag) belongs too, here are the hatches, and there are many more under the deck, thanks to reloading systems :
    even if the 12 × P-700 Granit SSM and the 24 × 8-cell 3K95 Kinzhal SAM VLS (192 missiles) added to the 32 missiles-magazine for each of the 8 Kashtan CIWS (each already loaded with 8 missiles = 320 missiles!) weren’t installed on the Liaoning, the missile storage areas remain, thus reducing the size of the hangar…
    The Type 001A aircraft carrier reuses most of the Soviet design but gets rid from the heavy-cruiser capabilities, thus allowing bigger hangars and so two full J-15 squadrons…

    +++ “which is China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier”
    >>> It’s a copy of the Liaoning which is nothing else than the unfinished sistership to the Admiral Kuznetsov bought from Ukraine, pffff…

    Thus, J-15 being a copy of a Su-33 prototype bought from Ukraine, it has the same limitations in payload while using a ski-jump on ship : you have to do cuts in the weapons you carry or the fuel you carry as Flankers have a too short run to get to their optimal take-off speed, this is even why Russia adopted the lighter MiG-29K which allows more payload while doing such short rolls and Su-33 is now going to land based naval-aviation, Russia is even considering phasing them out.
    In fact, in both cases, they’re a bit stupid : they could use JATO rockets!
    Using such rockets, USAF even managed to have the YMC-130H Credible Sport taking off into 50-100m and this is a 80t aircraft!!!!
    In fact, the prototype was demolished due to a stupid general who ordered to manually activate the brake retro-rockets which were to be operated automatically. The YMC-130H Credible Sport project was to allow C-130 to land and take-off from a… Soccer stadium in order to liberate US hostages detained in a hostile country…
    If this technology allows to make a 80t C-130 airborne in less than 100m, a 33t MTOW Flanker is no problem, in fact, you can even consider exceeding its MTOW…
    Such systems were already in use during WW2…