Chinese Navy (PLAN) Type-003 Aircraft Carrier visualized
New photos have become available of China's second-generation Type-003 Aircraft Carrier. The new ship is closer to the U.S. Navy model of 'Super Carrier' than the currently ships in service with the Chinese navy (PLAN). The photo, taken from a passing passenger aircraft and shared on Chinese social media (and on on Twitter by user Rupprecht_A), shows the sheer size of the ship. Behind it is a Type-055 Renhai Class cruiser (or 'large destroyer') which is itself a large ship. The cruiser may one day escort the carrier.
The new aircraft carrier is expected to be much more capable than the current two ships. They are based directly on the Russian Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier. The first vessel, the Type-001 Liaoning, is literally the Soviet Varyag, while the Type-002 Shandong is a local produced copy with minimal changes. They both use the STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) arrangement with a distinctive ski-jump bow.
Image enhanced by d-atis
The Type-003 however is expected to have an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), similar to the USS Ford. This should allow it to launch heavier aircraft. These may include a new KJ-600 fixed-wing airborne early warning aircraft similar to the U.S. Navy's Hawkeye. And possibly new generations of stealthy fighter aircraft and uncrewed combat air vehicles (UCAVs).
A recent satellite image:
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