TechChina's new Fujian carrier boasts a game-changing electromagnetic catapult

China's new Fujian carrier boasts a game-changing electromagnetic catapult

Aircraft carrier Fujian
Aircraft carrier Fujian
Images source: © Getty Images | VCG

8:06 AM EDT, May 2, 2024

China has launched a new aircraft carrier, the Fujian, which is set to undergo sea trials soon, according to a report from the Military website. What sets this carrier apart is its inclusion of an electromagnetic catapult, a first for the Chinese navy.

In recent months, China has notably advanced its military innovations. A prime example is the unveiling of the Z-21 helicopter, spotted for the first time in March 2024, designed as a counterpart to the American AH-64 Apache.

Unique aspects of the new ship

The Military website highlights China's latest achievement in the maritime sector with the launch of the Fujian aircraft carrier.

The Fujian's standout feature is its electromagnetic catapult, marking a significant technological advancement for the Chinese military. This makes it the first Chinese aircraft carrier equipped with such a capability, setting it apart from previous carriers that relied on ski-jumps for launching aircraft.
This electromagnetic catapult, developed by China, can launch an aircraft weighing approximately 66,000 pounds to speeds nearing 155 mph in just about 2 seconds. This impressive performance is attributed to the designers' innovative approach, utilizing a massive engine and flywheel to propel the aircraft, a departure from the previously used electromagnetic coil-based systems.

The Fujian itself is a massive undertaking, with construction starting in 2015. It boasts a displacement of around 88,000 tons and measures approximately 1,033 feet long and over 243 feet in width. It is designed to accommodate up to 40 planes and helicopters, enhancing its offensive capabilities.

The KJ-600, a newly tested long-range radar-detecting aircraft, is expected to be featured among these aircraft. Based on the KLC-7 introduced in 2018, the full specifications of the KJ-600 prototypes remain undisclosed. However, Global Security analysts speculate that it can cover about 777 miles and reach altitudes of around 9 miles.

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