Satellite images of the construction of China’s third aircraft carrier reveal that it is likely to be its first modern flattop, will be much larger than its predecessors and include a catapult aircraft launch system.
According to an article on Business Insider Australia, the new aircraft carrier is under construction at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard, and the images of its construction were obtained by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
“The construction of a third aircraft carrier – the Type 002 – appears to be underway at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard,” CSIS reported, according to Business Insider Australia. “Commercial satellite imagery collected on April 17, 2019 shows significant new activity.”
From the images, the bow and main hull are visible in the photos. According to The Economic Times, the CSIS images reveal that the bow section appears to end with a flat 30-metre front and a separate hull section 41 metres wide, with gantry cranes looming overhead.
The Pentagon's annual report on China's military modernisation, issued last Friday, noted that the third carrier would probably be larger than the first two and fitted with a catapult launch system to accelerate aircraft during takeoff.
"This design will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations," the report said, according to The Economic Times.