China’s third aircraft carrier under construction, to launch in 2020? - SupChina

China’s third aircraft carrier under construction, to launch in 2020?

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China currently has two aircraft carriers in service: the Liaoning, which was built more than 25 years ago, bought from Ukraine, and renovated, and the Type 001A Shandong, which was designed and built completely in China and launched in April 2017. The South China Morning Post reports that the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard Group was “given the go-ahead to begin work” on a third carrier in March 2017. The new carrier is called the Type 002, or CV-18.

  • The building process will take years. A source told the SCMP that the “shipyard is still working on the carrier’s hull, which is expected to take about two years,” and that this ship will be “more complicated and challenging” than China’s two existing carriers.
  • Naval experts expect this one and a fourth to be integrated into China’s navy by 2030. This will still be far short of the total in the U.S., which has at least 10 aircraft carriers in service — and more depending on your definition.
  • The new carrier will use an electromagnetic launch system that was developed by a Chinese naval engineering team two months ago.
  • The Type 002 will be launched in 2020, and enter service in 2023, according to estimates (paywall) from the Diplomat.

 

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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.