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China To Build 4 Nuclear Aircraft Carriers In Effort To Catch Up To US Navy: Report

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China To Build 4 Nuclear Aircraft Carriers In Effort To Catch Up To US Navy: Report


China is to build 4 nuclear aircraft carriers in an attempt to catch up to the US Navy, according to experts cited by the SCMP.

Beijing is presumably expected to have 6 aircraft carrier battle groups by 2035, after modernization of the People Liberation Army’s (PLA) Navy was turned into a priority.

They would be 6, because currently China has 1 with the Liaoning aircraft carrier and another one the Type 001A undergoing sea tests.

In comparison the US has 11 aircraft carrier battle groups.

Similarly to the US, the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are expected to be equipped with electromagnetic launch catapults.

“All of China’s new carriers were expected to be equipped with electromagnetic catapults similar to those used by the United States, the experts said. The US’ electromagnetic aircraft launch system, known as EMALS, can launch more aircraft more rapidly than the older diesel systems,” SCMP reported.

The SCMP cited several Chinese military experts, some with close ties to the PLA. This followed the announcement of the PLA’s plan in January to transform the army into a modern force, by shifting its focus away from land-based fighting. It plans to boost its navy, air force and new strategic units focused on emerging hi-tech threats such as cyberwarfare.

According to Wang Yunfei, a naval expert and retired PLA destroyer naval officer, said: “China’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers with [EMALS-like systems] are expected to join the navy by 2035, bringing the total number of carriers to at least six – although only four will work at the front line. The country needs to keep developing until it is at the same level as the United States.”

Construction of the first carrier equipped with such an electromagnetic launcher is the Type 002, a diesel-powered aircraft carrier whose construction began in 2018.

He said that there would no budget cuts even in the face of an economic slowdown and the trade war with the US.

“Even if the economic downturn has an effect, we can adjust proportions in total military expenditure to make sure naval modernisation keeps going,” Wang said. “For example, we can cut the number of new tanks.

“The budget for military modernisation will not be cut, even if [Beijing] decided to [use force to] reunify Taiwan. In a war scenario, [Beijing] may reduce spending on things like infrastructure, but it would increase military expenditure.”

Another cited expert was Song Zhongping, a television military commentator in Hong Kong. According to him China’s fleet of aircraft carriers would “expand to reflect its global standing.”

“The Type 002 – a conventionally powered carrier with an EMALS-like system – may become the only one of that kind of aircraft carrier, because China will next build multiple nuclear-powered aircraft battle platforms,” Song said.

Despite that, Song said China’s overall strength would remain limited by a lack of combat experience.

“China’s aircraft carrier technology and its carrier-based fighter jets will be developed to match the same generation of their American counterparts, but hardware build-up is only part of the picture,” he said.

“The standard of warships’ crew training and damage control have remained key shortcomings of the PLA Navy, because they has not had as much real combat experience as the Americans.”


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paul ( original )

Rather than catch up how about just sinking the USA carriers.


might be of interest to let them hang around off shore california or hawaii or some such place to cause a lot of worry in the washington dc, capital of moronland!

Daniel Martin

As current and future missile technology is rapidly advancing, in my personal opinion (I might be wrong) I really can’t see any future for these huge expensive and very vulnerable ships, except for two possible reasons, projecting power on weaker defenseless countries (as the U.S mostly uses them) or prestige.

Bigaess Wangmane

Most likely the 2nd reason, China isn’t going to park aircraft carriers on the shores of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India or even Vietnam and they prefer to “invade” weaker countries with loans, investments & infrastructure developments instead of Bomb & Bullets.


that’s a pretty nice strategy, don’t u think.

Jaffar al-Majmuni

“projecting power on weaker defenseless countries”
Exactely thats the reason why China is building Aircraft Carriers. To project power on weak, defenseless countries like Australia, Britain or France.

Camilo Vallejos

Carriers can be usefull in counterinsurgency in far away countries. And to protect trade routes.

alejandro casalegno

Is a very expensive mistake…………….you don´t defeat USA in the USA way of war, go asymmetrical.

John Whitehot

China is well aware of it, what you see is attempts to embellish US military power and aircraft carriers are among the most used concept in this kind of propaganda.



China spends the money that it makes selling stuff to America to make weapons.

The USA borrows money to buy stuff from China, and builds weapons to keep up with China.

China simply cannot lose, it’s a done deal.

Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

“The US’ electromagnetic aircraft launch system, known as EMALS, can launch more aircraft more rapidly than the older diesel systems,”

I thought the US used steam catapults, steam generated from the nuclear reactor

John Whitehot

a nuclear torpedo going off under them makes that detail irrelevant.


Steam catapults are the gold standard, but the US intends to go to EM launchers, but they don’t seem to be working?

John Whitehot

China does not need large amounts of aircraft carriers.

As with other countries (ie – Russia) that don’t preach “power projection”, because they are not interested in destroying the rest of the world, they just need a well designed and well trained naval force able to maintain dominance over the seas where the PRC has its highest national interests.

The most effective way to establish this dominance is to integrate at the lowest possible level air/surface/subsurface and ground assets.

The most attentive readers already know that comparing the US carrier fleet with those of other countries has no military significance, and it’s something that only Pentagon’s useful idiots keep doing.

They also acknowledge that in a major war, it doesn’t matter how big and mean US carrier Task Forces will be – they will be nuked as soon as they approach their targets, together with eventual amphibious groups.

Carriers of tomorrow will be smaller, with less planes and more helis, and their roles shifted to ASW operation mostly.


A possible scenario.
The USA suffers an economic collapse, and can’t afford to deploy its military.

Who would guard the trade routes?
It would be in the interests of China to have carriers, that could project power even to the US mainland.

Now I know that sounds like an unlikely scenario, but the Chinese cover every angle, they leave nothing to chance.

Or it might simply be a way of convincing the Americans that they will defend China by all means possible.

John Whitehot

the US trade routes are not in danger, if the US behaves correctly with the rest of the world.

Nobody is interested in attacking them, lest alone China or Russia, nor nobody is interested in attacking US mainland.


Well there are other powers out there but they are all scared of the US, remove the US and some could go rogue.
And what if the US does not behave correctly?

But really I think it’s just China putting pressure on the US, and they are using the money they make out of America to do it.

John Whitehot

“And what if the US does not behave correctly?”

They get nuked, along with the rest of the world.

It’s easy – it has to be peace at all costs.

If the US does not find a way to survive or save it’s economy in peace, then it will either die out, or bring the world in a nuclear catastrophe.

i won’t exclude anything, but i don’t think that the US will accept the destruction of the entire world rather than stop parasiting it.

For zionists, it’s a lose-lose scenario.

They also don’t have the option to separate Russia and China (like some CIA trolls blather on quora and the like), because the independence of the second depends on the independence of the first.

If zionists controlled Russia, China would have to depend on zionist controlled countries to import all its energy, at their conditions.

This pretty much sums how in this troyka,, the US is the weak, isolated element, and it will have to be very careful about its foreign policy.

John Whitehot

error 404.


It was an article about Kalibr being used a a ground launched cruise missile.
It is still on TASS under military and defense section.

John Whitehot

the Kalibr cannot be used as a ground launched missile until an adequate version is produced, which has been presented as an option to the Russian MinDef by the manufacturer.


This has happened AFTER the US withdrew from INF, not before..


The Kalibr ground version is very identical to the naval one, it needs a different launcher and it can use the same vehicle that deploys the Iskander missiles. The guidance system is the same since naval Kalibrs attack ground targets….etc..etc.

John Whitehot

the Kalibr ground version does not exist, so I don’t see how you detail its appearance. And you even tried to post the link above. Why do you obsess about this particular thing.


I am not obsessing about anything. All I am saying is that Kalibr is a platform that has multiple roles and potential.

John Whitehot

: )

Chris Chuba

Only a coast guard is needed to protect trade routes, you don’t need carrier class ships. Missile ships and a few surveillance aircraft does the job.

Promitheas Apollonious

I wonder what is the use of aircraft carriers, when one single missile, can turn them into aquariums for the fishes with everything on them. Beside the waste of resources and polluting the sea that is.


Since US does not possess or is close to developing hypersonic weapons, building carriers is an option for their blue water projection capability.
US cannot deploy for active duty more than 3 carriers in the area, so the Chinese will have the advantage.


Ah !all experts are here again lol

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