China is building a second aircraft carrier, the Chinese government’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, has confirmed.
The new carrier is being built in a shipyard in the northern city of Dalian, the same shipyard where the Liaoning, a refurbished vessel purchased from Ukraine, was retrofitted. Once complete, the new, 315 metre-long carrier will be slightly larger than the Liaoning. That vessel is able to carry up to 50 aircraft, while the new carrier will be able to carry up to 70.
The 25-year-old Liaoning has burdened the People’s Liberation Army Navy with a number of maintenance issues and uses an outdated ‘ski-jump’ ramp in order to launch aircraft.The new carrier will use two electromagnetic catapults instead, like those used on many American carriers.
The new aircraft carrier may include four surface-to-air missiles, a closed-in weapons system and three anti-submarine rocket launchers.
China’s defense spending rose 12 percent in 2014, and it’s no secret that the PLAN is seeking a blue-water naval fleet that includes four aircraft carriers.
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