People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has launched a Type-003 aircraft carrier in an official ceremony held on Friday morning. Dubbed Fujian, this aircraft is the largest aircraft carrier launched by any navy anywhere in the world except the United States Navy (US Navy). This aircraft carrier has been completely designed and manufactured in China, which shows Chinese capabilities in the defense industry.
Equipped with the latest weapons, its capabilities are far better than British, French & Indian aircraft carriers and can be compared with the latest class of U.S. aircraft carriers, the Ford class.
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After becoming operational, The Type-003 carrier will be the newest and most advanced carrier in the Chinese Navy. Analysts believed that this aircraft carrier will empower China to deploy Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) in the South China Sea.
Satellite images showed that this aircraft is quite similar to American Ford-class aircraft carriers. As compared to the Ford cord, Type-003 isn’t a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN). But analysts believe that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will follow Type-003.
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China acquired her first aircraft carrier “Liáoníng” from China, a former Kuznetsov class carrier, Varyag. China manufactured its second aircraft carrier in China but the design was based on soviet designed “Liáoníng”. But latest Type-003 is indigenously designed and manufactured at the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) shipyard in Shanghai.
As per Matthew P. Funaiole, senior fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS);
Although it will be years before the Type 003 enters military service and achieves initial operating capability, its launch will be a seminal moment in China’s ongoing modernization efforts and a symbol of the country’s growing military might.
Featured Image Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, and the South Asian Arms race.
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