China has launched its third aircraft carrier Fujian, which is Beijing's first domestically developed carrier. The highly advanced ship was launched on Friday in Shanghai, where the ship was being developed for the past four years.
The vessel uses electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices to enable planes to take off and land on its deck. The ship has a displacement of more than 80,000 tons while China's current two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which have a displacement of about 60,000 tons.
China's third aircraft carrier is named the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Ship Fujian and given the hull number 18, according to China's state media.
Fujian Is A Name of a Province
Beijing has been naming its aircraft carriers in the name of coastal provinces. Fujian is a province in the southeast of the country and is the closest to Taiwan.
Still the vessel requires outfitting works such as fuel pipes, gas pipes, electric devices, and weapons systems. The outfitting work is expected to take a long time as the vessel is China's first aircraft carrier to be equipped with catapults.
Fujian Could Be Delivered To PLA Navy In 2-3 Years
PLA Navy is expected to receive the aircraft carrier in two to three years as a number of sea trials will be completed following the completion of the outfit's work.
Fujian has capacity to carry more aircraft when compared to the Liaoning and the Shandong and with the help of catapults, aircraft's sortie rates can also be increased.
J-15, Armed Reconnaissance Drones Could Be Deployed On Fujian
Electromagnetic catapult enables heavier aircraft like early warning aircraft and cargo planes to operate on the carrier. These catapults are superior to their steam counterparts because they are lighter, use less resources, recharge faster and can change power output to match the launch needs of different types of aircraft, according to Global Times.
China is expected to deploy J-15 heavy fighter jet and its electronic warfare variant on the carrier. Reports have also claimed that aircraft could also have armed reconnaissance drones. and a fixed-wing early warning aircraft dubbed the KJ-600.