Author Topic: China’s New Aircraft Carrier Disappears  (Read 621 times)


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China’s New Aircraft Carrier Disappears
« on: August 31, 2020, 02:49:40 AM »
China’s New Aircraft Carrier Disappears
H I Sutton
Aerospace & Defense

China is building a new large aircraft carrier, the Type-003 Class. The ship will be a closer equivalent of the U.S. Navy’s carriers than the two ships already in service with the Chinese Navy. Open-source intelligence analysts have recently spotted something surprising however. The unfinished vessel has disappeared from its construction site in Shanghai. Based on analysis of publicly available satellite imagery we can determine that it was moved between May 25 and May 28.

The Type-003 will differ from China’s existing two carriers by having an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), similar to the USS Ford. The current carriers use a ski-jump which limits the payload carried by the jets when they take off.

This move has taken many observers by surprise. The construction site was purpose-built and with its own launch basin. Many hull sections had been laid out and were in the process of being joined together. The gigantic hull was beginning to take shape.

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Possible reasons may relate to problems with the launch basin. Large ships have docked there already, but the area is constantly being dredged. Another possibility may be an issue with the construction site itself.

The notion that it has been cancelled and consequently scrapped seems too dramatic. And it would be easier to do any work in place.

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