China launches its third aircraft carrier, the Type 003 – Naval Power

The Chinese Navy’s newest aircraft carrier was launched at Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai on June 17

China has finally launched the long-awaited Type 003 aircraft carrier, Fujian (CV-18), similar in capability to the US Navy’s “Nimitz” and “Ford” class aircraft carriers.

The ship, with conventional propulsion, is approximately 315 meters long (300 meters at the waterline) and has a deck width of 78 meters (40 meters at the waterline). Its displacement should be around 85,000 tons loaded.

The first Chinese aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shandongbased on the Russian aircraft carrier project Admiral Kuznetsov, are of the STOBAR (Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery) type, which uses a “ski-jump” ramp to launch fixed-wing aircraft. The STOBAR setting limits the maximum take-off weight of aircraft and the number of aircraft launched per period.

Artist’s impression of the Type 003 in operation

The Type 003 is of the CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) type, equipped with 3 electromagnetic catapults similar to the US EMALS catapults. This configuration will allow the Type 003 to launch a greater number of planes with more weapons and fuel, in addition to allowing the operation of KJ-600 airborne early warning aircraft (AEW).

The new aircraft carrier will also operate the new J-35 stealth fighter and new versions of the J-15.

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