TechChinese giant's breakthrough: Electromagnetic catapult testing begins

Chinese giant's breakthrough: Electromagnetic catapult testing begins

The launch of "Fujian". This is the third aircraft carrier of the Chinese army.
The launch of "Fujian". This is the third aircraft carrier of the Chinese army.
Images source: ©

10:44 AM EST, November 30, 2023

Testing of electromagnetic catapults on the aircraft carrier Fujian has commenced. The Chinese trials were documented via photographs and a video that were published on November 26, 2023.

The video illustrates the launch of a test load from Fujian's bow electromagnetic catapult. Following its launch, the missile landed in the water, within the dock basin. This test was carried out at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding shipyard in Shanghai. The footage, which was published on service X (formerly Twitter), was captured by a passenger on a Chinese Airlines flight.

The Fujian challenge: An impressive feat of Chinese production

Fujian stands as one of the most noteworthy projects of the Chinese navy. The aircraft carrier, measuring 1026 feet in length and 249 feet in width, boasts a displacement of around 88,000 tons. It features a traditional straight deck and houses its own homemade electromagnetic catapult systems. This system draws parallels to that recently implemented on America's Gerald R. Ford type aircraft carriers.

The Fujian, larger and more technologically advanced than China's two prior aircraft carriers, leaves them in its wake. These carriers are the Liaoning, with a displacement of 60,000 tons, and Shandong at 66,000 tons. Both employ a ski-jump class deck and traditional steam catapults, following the design blueprint of the Soviet Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier.

Fujian's future service: What aircraft will it cater to?

If the Fujian passes subsequent tests, it will likely enter a cycle of sea trials. The next step will involve inducting the aircraft carrier into active service. Once in service, the Fujian will be capable of servicing aircraft such as the Shenyang FC-31, Xian KJ-600, and the Shenyang J-15, in addition to Electronic Warfare aircraft.

Related content