China has made significant progress in building an aircraft carrier fleet over the past decade

China has made significant progress in building its aircraft carrier fleet over the past decade since the first, Liaoning, was commissioned on September 25, 2012.

The first Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. /APC

China refurbished the old Soviet model after buying it used in 1999, making it the country’s top carrier. In recent years, the country has independently built its own aircraft carrier, the Shandong, which uses ski jump ramps to launch fighter jets. It was commissioned in 2019.

The Shandong aircraft carrier built independently by China. /APC

Last June, with the launch of its new aircraft carrier, the Fujian, the Chinese navy now has three. The ship is the first in the fleet to be equipped with an electromagnetic catapult and can send aircraft aboard in quick succession. These days, Fujian has conducted a series of equipment installation and debugging, while continuing the relevant test missions.

The third Chinese aircraft carrier, the Fujian. /APC

“Today’s progress in building China’s aircraft carrier fleet would not be possible without the efforts of the whole country. In just 10 years, we have achieved the goal of the carrier fleet. Liaoning aircraft sailing at sea with greatly improved combat capability and explored an aircraft carrier development path with Chinese characteristics,” said Ma Chao, head of the Fujian aircraft carrier’s air support department.

Carrier-based aircraft also played a vital role in the Chinese Navy.

In 2017, the carrier-based air force successfully took off and landed on the Liaoning aircraft carrier at night for the first time.

“The breakthrough in night techniques and proficiency in night landing means that we are capable of performing tasks in all weathers, especially at night and in complicated weather conditions. With combat advantages in all times, we will have greater initiative in future wars,” said Xu Ying, deputy captain of the aircraft carrier Shandong.

Batch after batch of carrier-based aircraft took risks in training such as night aerial refueling, very low altitude defense penetration at sea, and carrier-based air-sea combat. aircraft carriers over the past decade, in order to improve the combat capability of the aircraft carrier fleet.

“In recent years, our aircraft carriers have achieved rapid development. It is safe to say that the development path with Chinese characteristics has been tested with real results. Now, the mission range of the domestically-made aircraft carrier Shandong is also constantly expanding as it develops rapidly. Our first aircraft carrier that uses catapults, Fujian, is also accumulating strength. We believe that in the near future, the three aircraft carriers will show our power on an international stage. wider,” said Liaoning captain Cui Yonggang.

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