China's Type 003 carrier is almost comparable to the US's newest aircraft carrier

Aircraft carrier Chinese Type 003
Aircraft carrier Chinese Type 003
Militarymedia.net - A satellite image reveals the Type 003 aircraft carrier China is building to be much larger than initially thought. Its size is almost comparable to the newest aircraft carrier of the United States (US), USS Gerald R Ford.

The satellite photo was taken from the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on March 28 by South Korea's Kompsat imagery satellite and obtained by Shadowbreak International. The photo provides a refreshing respite from the blurry photos of the shipyard taken by passers-by in recent months.

According to Naval News, the length of the waterline of the Type 003 ship based on satellite imagery is about 300 meters (985 feet). That's almost the size of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford, whose waterline reaches 317 meters (1,040 feet).

However, the Type 003 is clearly longer than the previous Chinese carriers, the Type 001 Liaoning and the Type 002 Shandong, whose waterlines are about 270 meters (885 feet).

However, the length of the waterline was not the final measurement of the ship because on most carriers the flight deck was considerable distance in all directions.

The Naval News report, quoted on Friday (16/4/2021) stated that the Type 003's interior modules, including the hangar and engine room, are likely to be completed soon enough to begin installing the flight deck, meaning their final form will soon be visible.

The Type 003, the report continued, would likely weigh 85,000 tonnes when fully loaded. The Ford class aircraft carriers weigh 100,000 tonnes.

However, the Type 003, which is bigger than the Liaoning and the Shandong, will carry many new technologies that make it even more dangerous.

These included — most importantly — electromagnetic aircraft launch systems (EMALS) such as those of the Ford class aircraft carriers.

EMALS will enable the Type 003 to launch heavier aircraft, such as the KJ-600 airborne early warning aircraft, and fighter jets with heavy weapons and fuel loads, currently limiting the Liaoning and Shandong's ability to carry the large J "Flying Shark" fighter jet. -15.

Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, maker of the J-15, is also likely working on another carrier-based fighter for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Since at least July 2020, Shenyang - which has worked with the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment's design bureau to develop a "new type of aircraft" for naval use - said last month it was doubling its research and trials by 2021.

The officially released photos have given credence to the old theory that a derivative of the Shenyang FC-31 Gyrfalcon test aircraft, a stealth fighter comparable to the US Navy's F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, will be the final product.

However, the Type 003 will not be nuclear powered in the way that the US carriers are. That will limit its ability to stay at sea for long periods without refueling.

That also leaves the question of how warships will generate the huge amounts of electricity needed to operate the electromagnetic systems in airplane catapults.

The Type 003 will likely be provided with several new 20 megawatt steam turbo generators launched last July.

Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times that the new generators are powerful enough to provide propulsion and electricity requirements, enabling an integrated electric propulsion system like those used on the futuristic destroyer USS Zumwalt.

He noted that four generators would be enough to power the 13,000 tonne Type 055 cruiser.

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