TechChina unveils Fujian: The next generation "sea monster" challenging US naval dominance

China unveils Fujian: The next generation "sea monster" challenging US naval dominance

Aircraft Carrier Fujian - Type-003
Aircraft Carrier Fujian - Type-003
Images source: © Press materials

11:53 AM EST, January 4, 2024

Fujian was briefly depicted on China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday, January 2nd. The footage showcased a Type-003 warship and a full-scale model of a fighter plane on board. However, the machine wasn't shown in detail, so as The Global Times points out, it's uncertain whether it was a replica of the Chinese J-15 fighter or the future J-35 fighter.

New images of aircraft carrier Fujian released by China

Currently situated at the Changxing Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai, the aircraft carrier is the third Type-003 vessel following the Liaoning and Shandong ships. These units, which China bought from Ukraine in 1998 and subsequently upgraded in the country, are significant. It's worth noting, however, that Fujian is the first aircraft carrier completely built by the Chinese, and also the first to have an electromagnetic launch system rather than a ski-jump runway. This allows aircraft to take off from the deck. The implemented Catapult Assisted Take-off, Barrier Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) functions enable catapult-assisted take-offs and shortened landings with the help of an aerofinisher.

Fujian also happens to be the world's third aircraft carrier equipped with an EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) catapult. The only other two are the USS Ford and the USS John F. Kennedy. EMALS is capable of handling much heavier aircraft compared to other systems, significantly boosting the combat capabilities of the unit. It is also more reliable and energy-efficient. Consequently, as Reuters mentions, this will mark a significant development in the modernization of the Chinese military. Also, according to statements from Beijing, Fujian is considerably larger and technologically more advanced than the Liaoning and Shandong. It is presumed to be the largest warship in Beijing's fleet.

Fujian has an enormous aircraft deck measuring 1,027 ft in length and 250 ft in width, with a displacement of up to 88,000 tons. Its design is a blend of American technological innovation and Soviet technology, previously used by China on the other two Type-003 ships. It is anticipated that Fujian will undergo sea trials in 2024 and be commissioned for the Chinese military in 2025. The launch of Fujian, the largest warship ever constructed in China, serves as part of the Navy's plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army.

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