China shows catapult-takeoff 2nd-gen Fujian aircraft carrier

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BEIJING ($1=6.70 Chinese Yuans) — The first serious Chinese aircraft carrier that can compete with American aircraft carriers – Type 003, also known as Fujian, is already in the water and awaits the next stages of its development. Information has changed dramatically in the last 48 hours since the Planet satellite took the first images of the flooded docks where the ship is being built, and today, open sources claim that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has already launched the aircraft carrier.

Photo credit: Twitter

Photos clearly show that the aircraft carrier is ready for the official ceremony of its admission to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Signs, flags, prepared tribune – everything is ready for the celebration.

There is the reason for Western military experts to look for similarities between the Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian and its American competitors. It is the first Chinese aircraft carrier to use the KATOBAR system to launch aircraft, as the Americans do. Fujian was the first Chinese aircraft carrier to also use electromagnetic catapult launchers, as the Americans do.

The Fujian aircraft carrier was built by the Chinese company Jiangnan Shipyard, which is based in Fujian province. Its displacement is 71,875 t [standard] and 80,000 t [79,000 long tons] [full load]. The aircraft carrier is 320 meters long and its propulsion is conventional with integrated electric propulsion. The aircraft carrier is not nuclear. Its aviation facilities are hangar deck.

Photo credit: Twitter

The construction of the aircraft carrier was shrouded in mystery, largely due to a lack of information from China. Some claim that its construction began in 2010-2012, others that in 2016. However, according to available information, in 2017 there was a problem with EM and steam catapults during tests, which led to a delay in the launch of the aircraft carrier.

The cockpit of the aircraft carrier is nearly 78 meters wide. According to this indicator and the length of the Chinese aircraft carrier [320 meters], it is close in size to the American aircraft carriers Kitty Hawk and Gerald R. Ford. International shipbuilding experts say Fujian is the largest and most modern aircraft carrier ever built outside the United States.

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