China plans to deploy its first two domestically built aircraft carriers to the southern island province of Hainan in anticipation of potential conflict over the disputed South China Sea, the nationalistic tabloid Global Times writes.
A source from Beijing say China's next carriers are likely to be deployed to the naval base at Sanya. Each is estimated to be designed to carry 30 J-15 fighters. One is being built in Dalian, where the Liaoning underwent its refit, and the other in Shanghai. The carrier under construction in Dalian will have an electromagnetic aircraft launch system similar to the USS Ronald Reagan, according to the source. The Liaoning has a ski-jump ramp. The source said the appearance of the new vessel will be revealed before the end of this year.