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China’s Military Ascension: Advanced Aircraft Carriers and Next-Gen Jets Mark the Beginning of a New Era in Global Power Play!

China is making strides in the development of its naval power, with plans to construct a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and advanced ship-based aircraft that will challenge the United States Navy.

The country’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (16 hulls), was purchased from Ukraine in 2000, while the Shandong (17) was later built in China. Both carriers utilize the STOBAR system, which has limitations on air operations and the use of early warning and air control aircraft.

However, in June 2022, the Type 003 class aircraft carrier, Fujian (18), equipped with electromagnetic catapults and integrated electric propulsion, was launched by the Jiangnan shipyard.

China is also developing carrier aircraft that can operate exclusively on CATOBAR aircraft carriers, such as the naval version of the Shenyang FC-31 Gyrfalcon and the Xi’an KJ-600 early warning and air control aircraft.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is also in the process of developing the Type 004 aircraft carrier, which is anticipated to weigh approximately 85,000 tons and feature an electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) and advanced aircraft recovery system.

It may also carry up to 90 aircraft, including the J-15 and J-31 stealth fighters, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Type 004 is expected to have a substantial offensive and defensive weaponry arsenal, including anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles, and close-in weapon systems (CIWS), and may be equipped with electronic warfare systems.

With its larger size, advanced technology, and formidable air wing, the Type 004 will present a significant challenge to the United States carrier fleet in the Pacific.

China’s shipbuilding activity demonstrates its military ambition and technological prowess.

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