January 5, 2018
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.
Source: SubChina “China’s third aircraft carrier under construction, to launch in 2020?”
Note: This is SubChina’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
SCMP’s report on the same topic can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2126883/china-has-started-building-its-third-aircraft-carrier.
In an interview with CCTV, China’s military expert Yin Zhuo says China’s second homegrown aircraft carrier shall use electromagnetic catapult to launch stealth fighter jets and fixed-wing AEW&C, special electronic warfare, anti-submarine aircrafts, etc.
Mil.huanqiu.com says that in its report “Yin Zhuo: Aircraft carrier with catapults will choose fifth-generation warplanes: Electromagnetic catapult technology mature” today on CCTV’s interview.
Yin says that the new carriers shall carry stealth fighters as it is the trend that other countries will have stealth fighters. Japan has already got some and South Korea will get some F-35s from the US; India will perhaps get T-40 from Russia; while Singapore and Malaysia both have desire to get some stealth fighter jets.
To carry stealth fighters, perhaps J-31 China is developing and other heavy fixed-wing warplanes indispensable for an aircraft, a carrier must use catapults. Yin believe that electromagnetic catapults are better than steam ones and that China’s technology is more mature than US ones with lots of successful tests. According to Yin, the electromagnetic catapults that the US has installed on its new aircraft carrier the Ford still have some problems to resolve.
Summary by Chan Kai Yee on mil.huanqiu.com’s report, full text of which in Chinee can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/china/2017-12/11419667.html.
In my post “China’s Aircraft Carrier to Have Homegrown Electromagnetic Catapult” yesterday, I quoted SupChina’s report “China upgrades its carrier and pushes its ocean claims” as saying that according the South China Morning Post (SCMP), China has “developed a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network” to equip its conventionally powered Type 002 carrier with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system.
On the day, Chinese military expert Yin Zhuo says in “Asia Today” of CCTV4 that China’s medium-voltage, direct-current integrated power system is more than 10 years advanced than US medium-voltage, alternating-current integrated power system that has been installed on US newest Zumwalt-class destroyer.
According to CCTV4, Chinese integrated power system is highly efficient so that a conventionally powered aircraft carrier has enough power for electromagnetic catapult. As a result China will go its own way in building conventionally powered instead of nuclear powered aircraft carrier.
According to Yin Zhuo, electromagnetic catapults installed on US newest aircraft carrier the Ford have had quite a few accidents and even a quite serious accident in their test operation. China’s however has successfully sent J-15s to the sky more than a thousand times. Due to its satisfactory performance, Yin says that China’s second homegrown Type 002 aircraft carrier must use electromagnetic catapult.
CCTV4 compared Type 002 with Type 001 under construction. Type 002 will have a displacement of 80,000 tons, much bigger than the 65,000 tons of Type 001. It will have 48 J-15 fighter jets, 12 more than the 36 J-15s that Type 001 has. It will in addition have 4 AEW&C aircrafts indispensable for an aircraft carrier sailing far away from homeland. Chinese fixed-wing AEW&C aircraft is too heavy to take off from Type 001, but they can take off from Type 002 with the help of electromagnetic catapult.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CCTV4’s report, which can be viewed at http://tv.cctv.com/live/cctv4/index.shtml?stime=1509622200&etime=1509624000&type=lbacks.
SupChina says in its report “China upgrades its carrier and pushes its ocean claims” that according the South China Morning Post (SCMP), China has “developed a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network” to equip its conventionally powered Type 002 carrier with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system.
The report says, “The system ‘would mean less wear and tear on the planes and allow more aircraft to be launched in a shorter time than the ski and steam-catapult systems.’”
The US is dealing with the challenges of the electromagnetic catapult on its nuclear powered carrier, but China has developed such catapult on conventionally powered carrier.
The report says, “Several military sources also boasted to the SCMP that the technology surpassed the jet launch technology of some U.S. aircraft carriers.”
Moreover, it says, “An expert in military technology told the SCMP that the new technology could in the future also be used to launch missiles and satellites.”
What? A Chinese carrier will be both a floating air base and air defense and can even fight a star war by launching an ASAT satellite!
The US promised to sell its electromagnetic catapult to India, but India has no nuclear powered carrier and even 65,000-ton INS Vishal it is planning to build in the future is not nuclear powered so that there remains the question whether it has enough power to operate the catapult provided by the US.
India had better buy Chinese one to equip its conventionally powered carriers, but is China willing to sell given that India is joining the US to contain China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SupChina’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://supchina.com/2017/11/01/china-upgrades-carrier-pushes-ocean-claims-chinas-latest-political-current-affairs-news/
According to PLA’s website 81.cn, China has developed a device to help warplane land on aircraft carrier.
The report says that CCP 19th Congress representative Li Yuan revealed to reporters in the morning of October 19 when she entered the site of Congress through a room to meet reporters that No. 704 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has developed a device to help warplane land on aircraft carrier.
Then another representative Meng Xiangfei of State Supercomputer Tianjin Center said that the Center’s Tianhe Supercomputer had played its role in the development of the device.
Source: 81.cn “China’s carrier-borne warplanes have a homegrown “Magic Lamp” to help them land on aircraft carrier” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese”
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly says in its article “China’s land-based carrier mock-up undergoing further modifications” that according to photos of the mock-up island of China’s new aircraft carrier published in Chinese online forums, “the height of the island’s forward upper superstructure on the carrier mock-up has been increased to facilitate faring in the array panels of the phased array radar. In addition, the smaller square apertures above those for the main array panels suggest that the Type 002 may be equipped with a dual-band, phased-array radar: a configuration that appears to be similar to that on China’s Type 055 destroyers, the first of which was launched in June.”
Another major modification of the mock-up is the removal of parts for sky-jump takeoff on the deck. That gives rise to the speculation that catapults will be used for takeoff but it is unclear whether the catapults are steam or electromagnetic ones.
As no modification is seen in the back of the mock-up island, the article believes that China’s third aircraft carrier will be conventional instead of nuclear one.
Mil.huanqiu.com says in its article “Jane’s speculation of the configuration of China’s new-type aircraft carrier: Conventional powered plus catapult takeoff”, “So far there is no evidence that indicates construction has been underway and there is speculation outside China that the construction of the third aircraft carrier has been delayed for modification of design to allow the installation of electromagnetic instead of steam catapults.”
Source: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly “China’s land-based carrier mock-up undergoing further modifications” (summary by Chan Kai Yee, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.janes.com/article/73701/china-s-land-based-carrier-mock-up-undergoing-further-modifications)
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Jane’s speculation of the configuration of China’s new-type aircraft carrier: Conventional powered plus catapult takeoff” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the article in Chinese)
Popular Science describes China’s major progress in aircraft carrier technology in its article “China’s making major progress with its aircraft carrier tech: Say hello to China’s first catapult-equipped carrier.” The article is mainly based on what have been seen at China’s test site of steam and electromagnetic catapults, display of models in China’s Military Museum and information from Chinese military fans’ posts.
The article provides a fan-made computer-generated image of China’s second homegrown aircraft carrier and speculates that the carrier will have a displacement of 70,000 tons and powered with China-designed and made 170-230-megawatt CGT-60F heavy duty, F-class gas turbine to provide adequate power for huge steam catapults.
Such description, though speculation, may be true as without catapult, the carrier has no protection from its own fixed-wing AEW&C aircrafts at high sea. China must have a blue-sea aircraft carrier if it wants to have a blue sea navy.
The article describes China’s new J-15B, J-15T and even J-31 carrier-based aircrafts, which are based on the test flights already seen. When the carrier is operating at high sea far away from Chinese coast, it has no protection from China’s stealth J-20s. It certainly must have its own stealth fighter jets to counter others’.
J-31 may be as good as F-35, but J-20 is absolutely superior so that the model of China’s third homegrown carrier carries J-20s heavy stealth fighter jets. If so, the carrier must be a nuclear one with a displacement of 90,000 tons. Such a carrier may be commissioned by 2030
This blogger has no doubt that China is capable of obtaining such technologies, but believes that aircraft carrier is too expensive to build and maintain. To dominate the sea, China had better use its resources in building aerospace bombers and super quiet and fast attack nuclear submarines. China has the technology of super submarines and may have already begun building some. It will test flight manned aerospace aircrafts by 2030. Shall China build such expensive aircraft carrier?
Perhaps, as Chinese economy keeps on growing at 7% p.a., China will grow rich enough to afford all such advanced weapons.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Science’s article, full text of which can be found at http://www.popsci.com/china-aircraft-carrier-technology#page-3