22 June 2022

China launches third Aircraft Carrier.

China launched its third aircraft carrier on Friday, as the United States wrapped up its Valiant Shield 2022 exercise.

On Friday morning, China launched its third aircraft carrier, named Fujian (18), carrying hull number 18, at Jiangnan Shipyard of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in Shanghai, reported the People’s Liberation Army’s official media channel, China Military Online.

The 80,000-ton carrier is China’s first flat deck carrier and uses Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)-powered catapults to launch its aircraft, in contrast to the ski jump of its other two carriers. The EMALS system can launch heavier aircraft, such as the J-35 fighter and airborne early warning aircraft, to operate off its flight deck.

Fujian is named after the closest Chinese province to Taiwan, which lies east of the province and is separated by the Taiwan Strait. China has been steadily building its carrier capabilities, with carrier CNS Liaoning (16) conducting an extensive training period in May that lasted more than two weeks in the Pacific Ocean. Fujian, once fully operational, with its greater capacity and capabilities, will further enhance the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) power capabilities and allow the PLAN to field a total of three carrier strike groups, matching the normal two to three U.S. CSG presence in the Asia Pacific. The PLAN is expected to build additional carriers for service as well.

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