China’s Next Aircraft Carrier is a Monster – Comparable to US Warships?

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chase Corbin/Released

While many U.S. and western naval analysts mock China’s two (first-generation) ski-ramp medium carriers as a bit of a joke, they miss the point that they have a role, like our America-class amphibious assault ships, and are also test beds for China‘s real carriers being built. And satellite images are revealing that the next, more advanced carrier, Type-003 still under construction in Shanghai, will be a monster.

It could be in many ways comparable to a U.S. supercarrier, at least in size and minimal capabilities, though slightly shorter in overall length. Significantly, unlike U.S. carriers, the Type-003 is not expected to be nuclear powered, as the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has not been able to perfect (or steal) the technology required for nuclear propulsion of that size.

Apparently, nuclear reactors for their submarines were easier to develop.

This will of course limit the range of the ship and will require at-sea-refueling – both are operational hindrances at long distances from China’s mainland, but less so if operating closer to shore.

Referring to the photo and imagery in the tweet above, Naval News notes that:

The above satellite image allows us to estimate its waterline length at about 300 meters (985 feet). This is slightly less than the Ford Class’ 317 meters (1,040 feet) but longer than the previous carriers. China’s Type-001 Liaoning and Type-002 Shandong carriers are about 270 meters (885 feet) long at the waterline.

The catapult take-off will be a step up in capabilities to the existing Chinese carriers. These use a short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) system with a ski-jump bow. It seems likely that without a catapult fitted, the earlier two will not be able to operate the new KJ-600 plane.

This airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft is China’s analogue to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. It promises to greatly increase the situational awareness of the carrier battle group. With this plane the Type-003 will make the PLAN one of only three navies with fixed winger carrier based AEW, joining the US Navy and Marine Nationale (French Navy).

While similar to U.S supercarriers, Naval News explains that the real closest equivalent is likely to be France’s next-generation carrier, the PANG (Porte-avions de nouvelle génération). That warship will have a waterline length of 305 meters (1,000 feet), though its flight deck will be shorter at 300 meters (984 ft). The PANG will also continue to be nuclear-powered, like its predecessor the Charles de Gaulle.

Combined with the expected CATOBAR catapult launch configuration, where jets are launched by a catapult and recovered using arrestor gear, China’s Type-003 will be able to carry heavier, more effective aircraft with larger payloads and ranges.

Still to be determined is whether the Chinese carrier will perfect and deploy the electromagnetic catapult system the U.S. Navy is having so many problems with on the newest Ford-class supercarrier. Initial reports showed the PLAN was having similar problems. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Joe
Joe
5 months ago

They all can be sunk.

Barry J Johnson
Barry J Johnson
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe

You a “Bubblehead?”
Barry Age 76
PO1 USN RET
Vietnam 3x (Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club)

Michael Skok
5 months ago

Even the US Navy admirals admit that aircraft carriers have only have a survivability of two days in the outbreak of WW3.

Roger Collier
Roger Collier
5 months ago

Well when you give them the plans as Obama and Biden doesn’t take muck to just weld some steel!

Daniel Farrand
Daniel Farrand
5 months ago

Where do US interest lay that we should fight the Chinese ? The nations immediately in the path of China S. Korea, Japan, Viet Name, Taiwan, Philipines must decide where they stand and consider arming themselves with Nuclear weapons, be prepared to mobilize their entire societies, spend more or make accommodation with China.

US military and economic power is broken. US defense spending it monsterously inefficient. The US consumption economy can can no longer pay the bill as woke america clamors for benefits and grows obese and unhealthy.

The US is not able politically to fight a war where casualties might reach into 10’s of thousands. Those who run the nation and makes it’s policies, despise those who fill the ranks of combat units. US military leadership have shown themselves singularly unable to win at anything.

With the 2 trillion dollars spent and 7000 military dead and 50,000 injured and 50% of those being discharged from the military today collecting disability benefits to one degree or another. It would be cheaper in lives and money to accept attacks on american interests than defined against them using the bankrupt methods of the last 15 years.

Roy
Roy
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Farrand

At least we can boast that our military are being trained to not use alleged bigoted terms. Transgender surgery is provided for free and special maternity uniforms are provided for female combatants. Betcha China doesn’t have that:)

mark Moynihan
mark Moynihan
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Farrand

Whoes idea was it to retire the mighty Missouri?

Pat
Pat
5 months ago
Reply to  mark Moynihan

I’d LOVE to see the Montana class BBs get built, updated for 21st century. BBN anyone? Rail guns, ballistic missiles, and yes, those wonderful 16/50 guns, but automated.

Gene USNA
Gene USNA
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Farrand

If the US shared nuclear expertise to help them, that would be okay. However, we won’t so it’s conventional or nothing against Communist China
It’s not “fight the Chinese” by the way. No one but a racist bigot wants to fight the Chinese, Communism on the other hand, it needs to be defeated with every move taken. Otherwise having Communism at the doorstep in 15-20 years would be bad for my children.

Pat
Pat
5 months ago
Reply to  Gene USNA

China IS Communism.

TheMadMan
TheMadMan
5 months ago

If America is falling behind it is because of all of Joe Biden’s Crazy Anti-American, Anti-Constitution, Anti-Freedom Policy’s.

Lawrence Hurd
Lawrence Hurd
5 months ago

we it help when you have people selling or secrets and technology not to leave out what they steal from us and the world they have become a real problem soon they will be a very big threat

Pauline
Pauline
5 months ago

The bigger they are the faster they sink.

Barry J Johnson
Barry J Johnson
5 months ago

Bigger is not necessarily better, in the case of “bird farms,” it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I have served on 4 of the US Navy’s “bird farms,” and I do not think that the chinese have been able to steal the technology for the inside (since that’s the only way they can acquire it), let alone have the competent trained Sailors to service it.
The US Navy has them beat hands down in that regard on both issues.
Barry Age 76
PO1 USN RET
Vietnam 3x (Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club)

Barry J Johnson
Barry J Johnson
5 months ago

The above also applies to all of the vessels of the US fleet that are smaller.
Barry Age 76
PO1 USN RET
Vietnam 3x (Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club)

Pat
Pat
5 months ago

I work on USN equipment and I agree.

JColes
JColes
5 months ago

Barry — you’re about 99% right. The Chins have gained 50 years of doctrinal experience with super-large surface combatants based on just what they’ve stolen or been given by feckless Leftist politicians.
The PLA-all branches, don’t invent or develop well but they have perfected the art of steal & copy.
I did a photo job for USN OCHINFO when the Eisenhower was in the ways … and learned first hand that critical systems, much as the Combat Information Center & the lines that feed it are super well protected & multi-layered redundant…given what I know of Chinese manufacturing I doubt their critical systems are as well protected.
The PLAN has more total ships & boats than we do but my guess is they’re much less capable & that their crews are a decade away from peer capability with our Navy.
But unless the DemocratLeft’s penchant for cutting Defense can be checked we shall be in deep trouble all over, but especially in the Info-Pacific theater.

Pat
Pat
5 months ago

Being a diesel boat, watch for it to start refueling, drop a couple of bombs and China’s got another artificial island.

David
David
5 months ago

Yes and most if not all of that technology was stolen from the U.S. How the Chinese conned and cheated this country throughout the years and this is the results.


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