China's third aircraft carrier has been launched
- Democracia Participativa
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April 20.– The Fujian has been just launched and it is one CATOBAR carrier; meaning that it is a Catapult Assisted Take-off But Arrested Recovery (B stands for Barrier also). In these systems, the deck of the carrier is totally flat.
The Fujian is also equipped with China’s version of the electromagnetic launch system (EMALS), which uses powerful electromagnets to launch aircraft, enabling the launch of additional and heavier types of aircraft faster.
These aircraft could include improved J-15Bs, naval versions of the J-20 and FC-31, and J-600 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) planes and drones.
Building on the Fujian aircraft carrier’s success, China’s carrier development program is gaining steam with the recent unveiling of its nuclear-powered supercarrier concept similar to the US Gerald Ford class and France’s Next Generation Aircraft Carrier.
Given the strategic importance of carriers, China may aim to have a six-carrier navy, with its three fleets operating two carriers each.
The US already has 11 larger CATOBAR nuclear-powered versions and decades of experience in carrier operations. A 12th aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy is already on training sea trials. The ship was launched on 29 October 2019 and christened on 7 December 2019.
A 13th aircraft carrier is under construction since August 2017, the USS Enterprise, and a 14th carrier, the USS Doris Miller, is a future Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, expected to be launched in 2026 and operational by 2030.