China’s biggest and most modern aircraft carrier

On June 17, 2022 China launched its third aircraft carrier, named “Fujian” in a bid to extend the range of its navy in Indo-Pacific region.

About Fujian aircraft carrier

  • The newly launched aircraft carrier is most advanced and first “fully domestically built” naval vessel.
  • It was launched at a brief ceremony, at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard.
  • It is the first domestically designed and built catapult aircraft carrier.
  • It has a flat, straight flight deck that has been equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices.

Background

Launch of Fujian ship was delayed by two months, because of COVID-19 lockdown of Shanghai. Spacecraft was scheduled to be launched on April 23, 2022 to mark 73rd anniversary of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Who built this ship?

The 3rd aircraft carrier has been built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited.

Features of the Fujian

Fujian has a displacement of over 80,000 tonnes. It is equipped with arresting devices and electromagnetic catapults. It has been named after Fujian province of China.

Other aircraft carrier of China

Liaoning was the first aircraft carrier of China. It was a refit of Soviet-era ship commissioned in 2012. This launch was followed by indigenously built 2nd aircraft carrier named ‘Shandong’, which was launched in 2019. Liaoning and Shandong carriers have also been named after provinces in China.

China’s plan

China has planned to launch around five aircraft carriers. The next aircraft carrier that China has planned to build is likely to be nuclear-powered.

China’s global expansion

Chinese President Xi Jinping, has been carrying extensive military reforms including downsizing of Army, enhancing the role of Navy and Air Force, as China seeks a global expansion with military bases in Djibouti in Horn of Africa. It has already taken over Hambantota port of Sri Lanka for a 99-year lease. It has modernised Gwadar port in Pakistan. The country is also engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in South China Sea as well as East China Sea. It claims almost all of South China Sea.

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