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China’s Unstoppable Military Rise: Cutting-Edge Aircraft Carriers and Next-Gen Jets Highlight its Pursuit of Global Dominance!

China is making progress in developing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and advanced ship-based aircraft with the goal of rivaling the United States Navy. Initially, China purchased its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (16 hulls), previously known as the Varyag, from Ukraine for 20 million euros in 2000. The Liaoning and the Shandong (17) use the STOBAR system, which limits air operations and early warning and air control aircraft. However, in June 2022, China launched the Fujian (18), a CATOBAR aircraft carrier with electromagnetic catapults and integrated electric propulsion, belonging to the Type 003 class.

China is also developing carrier aircraft that operate exclusively on CATOBAR aircraft carriers, such as the J-15 and the Shenyang FC-31 Gyrfalcon, a 5th-generation aircraft. Moreover, the Xi’an KJ-600, an early warning and air control aircraft similar to the US Hawkeye, is undergoing flight tests.

The Chinese Navy is developing a new class of aircraft carrier called the Type 004. It is expected to be larger than the Liaoning and Shandong, weighing approximately 85,000 tons, and equipped with an electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) and an advanced aircraft recovery system using arresting wires. The Type 004 may also have a substantial air wing comprising up to 90 aircraft, including the J-15 and the J-31 stealth fighter, as well as airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Additionally, the Type 004 may have anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, close-in weapon systems (CIWS), and electronic warfare systems.

The Jiangnan shipyard recently released digital images suggesting the possibility of building a new aircraft carrier, similar to the US Navy’s and French Porte Avion Nouvelle Generation (PANG) aircraft carriers.

This new ship is estimated to displace about 110,000 tons and have nuclear propulsion. Despite ongoing development, China’s shipbuilding activities demonstrate its ambition and ability to compete with the United States in military technology.

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