China launched its domestically built Type 001A aircraft carrier a few months ago. It measures about 315 meters (1,033 ft) long, with a displacement of about 50,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded). The vessel is set to undergo fitting-out and sea trials for several years before it is commissioned sometime around 2020.
Aircraft carriers are and will be vulnerable in a war between major military powers (USA, Russia, China, UK, France, Germany and probably India.) However, advanced aircraft carriers are useful for bullying weaker militaries around the world.
The next Type 002 aircraft carrier is development for which is slated to wrap in 2020 or 2021, will be a 70,000-ton aircraft carrier with catapults designed to launch heavier aircraft. It will comparable to the new british aircraft carriers in size and technology.
The Type 002 will have a larger engine. The CGT-60F is a heavy duty, F-class gas turbine (power output of 170-230 megawatts) is being designed by Tsinghua University’s Gas Turbine Research Center with the Dongfang Electric Group and Shanghai Electric Group.
The Huangdicun base is testing both steam and EMALS catapults for likely installation on the Type 002 aircraft carrier.
China will also add improved radar and electronics.
China is making a third J-31 stealth fighter prototype with the capability to operate on catapult-equipped aircraft carriers. The J-31, while smaller than the J-20 stealth fighter, has improved stealth and avionics capability on its second prototype. Plus, production versions are planned to be equipped with faster WS-17 engines, which could allow for supersonic flight without fuel-thirsty afterburners.
A nuclear-powered Type 003 supercarrier likely won’t enter service until after 2030. It will be a true super-carrier with about 90,000 tons of displacement.
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