Fujian aircraft carrier starts sea trials

New Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian begins sea trials

The vessel is the first of its kind developed by the Chinese Navy and incorporates technical advances such as electromagnetic catapults. Aircraft carrier should remain in testing until mid-2025

The Fujian, China’s first fully developed aircraft carrier, began sea trials on Wednesday. The vessel is the third aircraft carrier in the Chinese Navy, but is far more advanced and capable than the Shandong and Liaoning ships.

Also known as “Type 003”, the new aircraft carrier left the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai shortly after 8 am, as shown in a video released by state media.

Sea trials are the last stage of the aircraft carrier’s development before the vessel is commissioned, which are expected to occur by mid-2025.

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Equipped with electromagnetic catapults, the Fujian is the largest aircraft carrier developed outside the United States, with around 80,000 tons of displacement and 320 meters in length.

As mentioned, the aircraft carrier will launch its planes by catapult, a system that allows heavier and armed aircraft to operate on board.

Fujian aircraft carrier starts sea trials (PLA)

The Shandong and Lianong, derived from a class of Russian aircraft carriers, launch their planes from a ramp called “sky-jump”.

Not surprisingly, China has developed new aircraft that will be part of the Fujian air wing, including the KJ-600 aerial early warning plane, similar to the US Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye, and the J-35 stealth fighter. , currently in testing.

In addition, the J-15 fighter, which is used on the other two aircraft carriers, is also expected to be on board the Fujian, taking off via catapults.

Fujian aircraft carrier starts sea trials (PLA)

Conventional propulsion

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA) practically followed the United States’ aircraft carrier construction script and thus intends to project its power across a much wider region, as does the US Navy.

Fujian, however, lacks an important technology, nuclear propulsion, used by the entire large fleet of North American aircraft carriers.

Instead, the Chinese aircraft carrier is powered by conventional steam turbines, which require the ship to be refueled at shorter intervals.


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