China's New Aircraft Carrier, Fujian, Shows Xi Jinping Catching Up With US
China launched its third and most modern aircraft carrier, a watershed moment for President Xi Jinping’s efforts to modernize the armed forces and narrow his country’s military gap with the US.
China launched its third and most modern aircraft carrier, a watershed moment for President Xi Jinping's efforts to modernize the armed forces and narrow his country's military gap with the US.
The new carrier, christened the Fujian, was launched from Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai on Friday at ceremony attended by military and civilian leaders, state broadcaster China Central Television said. The ship has an electromagnet catapult launch system -- a feature previously deployed by only the US -- rather than the “ski jump” deck of China's two earlier carriers, CCTV said.
While Fujian will more closely resemble the newest US carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, it will likely fall short of Nimitz-or Ford-class nuclear-powered supercarriers in capabilities and range. The Chinese warship is expected to have a diesel engine and likely to be comparable in size to the US Kitty Hawk-class carriers, which the US operated from the 1960s to 2000s.
The Fujian, which was previously known as the Type 003, will displace about 80,000 tons, according to CCTV, compared with about 100,000 tons for the Nimitz and Ford carriers.
The shipyard working on the new carrier is operated by Jiangnan Shipbuilding Group, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp., the world's largest commercial shipbuilder.