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AUGUST 2021

China’s Third Aircraft Carrier Revealed In New Satellite Images

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

In spite of China’s carrier program remaining a state secret, and with no official confirmation of its extent, new satellite images published by Reuters reveal that China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is being built at the Jiangnan shipyard outside Shanghai.

Upon completion it would be China’s third carrier, which Pentagon officials said last week was being worked on as the US military attempts to accurately assess the PLA’s capabilities (People’s Liberation Army). Last Fall state media confirmed the program, but Tuesday is the first time images have been made available to confirm it is indeed making rapid progress.

China's Third Aircraft Carrier Revealed In New Satellite Images

Prior file photo China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier undergoing sea trials, in Liaoning Province, in May. Image source: Reuters/Nikkei Asia Review

The satellite images are from April, and were produced and analyzed the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. Reuters observes the images “reveal considerable recent activity during the last six months on a large vessel” .

The project is seen as part of President Xi’s recent years’ push to usher in a period of modernization of China’s military, which has worried Asian rivals and Washington alike, potentially challenging US naval dominance in East Asian seas, which has lately been met with a series of confrontations and tensions with the PLA Navy in places like the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

China's Third Aircraft Carrier Revealed In New Satellite Images
Source: Reuters/CSIS ChinaPower

The Reuters report summarized the CSIS analysis of the new satellite images as follows:

The CSIS images show a bow section that appears to end with a flat 30-metre (98-foot) front and a separate hull section 41 meters wide, with gantry cranes looming overhead.

That suggests a vessel, which China has dubbed Type 002, somewhat smaller than 100,000-tonne U.S. carriers but larger than France’s 42,500-tonne Charles de Gaulle, analysts say.

Fabrication halls the size of several soccer pitches have been built nearby, and work appears to be continuing on a floodable basin, possibly to float the finished hull into the nearby Yangtze River estuary.

All of its observable features are “consistent with what is expected for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s third aircraft carrier,” according to the CSIS analysis.

China's Third Aircraft Carrier Revealed In New Satellite Images

Regardless, given that China’s first two carriers are small, carrying only 25 aircraft, a full size aircraft carrier could radically alter the strategic balance in East Asia and further bridge the gap between the PLA Navy and US Navy’s capabilities in the region.

China's Third Aircraft Carrier Revealed In New Satellite Images

Singapore-based regional security analyst Ian Storey made the following crucial observation as part of the Reuters report:

“Once completed, it will outclass any warship from any Asian country, including India and Japan,” said Storey, of the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute. “It is yet another indication that China has emerged as Asia’s paramount naval power.”

Chinese officials have recently made public comments which suggest China’s ambitious are set at developing at least six carriers in the coming years and decades, compares to the United States’ 11 that it operates.

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Simon Abruzzo

Russia should sell their Kuznetsov carrier to the China. Russia can’t maintain it, waste.

Keep it Real

too late, they alredy bought the sister ship! And now they build their own Aircraft carriers. Modefied ” Better” once

Barba_Papa

The Kuznetsov is pretty much useless to China. They already have its sistership and its pretty much going to be a training carrier.

Jacob "Wraith" Wohl

They should sell keznetsov to some third world country like Ghana or Bolivia, because that’s what it is, a third world level carrier

Bill Wilson

Seems odd that the Red Chinese keep building aircraft carriers when they have very few trained carrier pilots due to having very few carrier aircraft that happen to spend more time in repair shops than in the air.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Can’t help but notice that with the USN, though on paper they have 11 CVN’s and 9 active-duty naval air wings, in practice only four or five carriers can be put to sea at once, usually carrying 2 squadrons of strike attack jets.
So that is x4 CVN’s (22,000 personnel) to deploy approx 40 jets per CVN, or in other words 160 4th Generation (highly used) combat aircraft.

Barba_Papa

I reckon that if an actual war were to demand it the US could turn out the majority of its carriers. For a while. Overall 4 to 5 carriers is still a hell of a lot of naval firepower that no other navy in the world can match. Not even all the European navies and Russia combined. And they would have to send out everything they have at the same time. Which they can’t either. And USN carriers usually carry 4 squadrons of strike aircraft.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Seems to me that having over 20,000 personnel (sailors) to field 160 combat jets in a theater is somewhat ridiculous.
N.B Each United States Navy squadron has a standard unit establishment of 10 or 12 aircraft, btw.

Barba_Papa

Should be more, 12 aircraft per squadron times 4 = 48. For 4 carriers that would make 188. And yes, it takes that much personnel for 4 carriers. Even more because every carrier has its carrier battle group to protect it. But that’s how its always been. Big carriers need thousands of crew to keep it running and the airgroup working. And several shifts to maintain round the clock operations. Its a floating airfield with all the support staff that crews a regular airfield PLUS the additional staff you need to keep a ship that size working.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Well given the choice between a 13,000 feet land air base (that can operate strategic bombers) and a 1,000 feet floating airstrip, (that requires 5,000 personnel just to operate it) I’d take the unsinkable one.

Barba_Papa

Depends. You can’t move the 13,000 feet land air base to where its needed. Often you can’t even get one where its needed at all. Sometimes you have to be nice to countries you don’t really want to be nice too to get a 13,000 feet land air base. The floating airstrip on the other hand can go wherever it pleases, as long as the enemy is not a 1st tier opponent like Russia or China. In which case the 13,000 feet land air base would be just as vulnerable.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Well in USN’s case I suppose the carrier fit’s in with (current) U.S. policy, I don’t see where it really fit’s in with others navies. (other than perhaps providing fleet air defense and/or SSBN protection)

Sinbad2

Yes subs are much more useful in a major war.

Sinbad2

They would be sunk at the wharf if that’s where they were.
Carriers are good for attacking minor powers, but nations with long range missiles and satellites would just sink them day one.
Of course if you take out the satellites, ships at sea would have a much longer life.

Barba_Papa

I wouldn’t go as far as saying they would get sunk at the wharf, but other then that you’re right. Against 1st tier nations carriers are useless. And if you look at the last time a Western country used carriers as their main support to support their military operation, the Falklands war, the British were very aware at how vulnerable they were. The 2 British carriers were stationed so far to the east that the British Harriers had only limited flight time over the Falklands and could not run an adequate CAP to cover the amphibious landings. They were jokingly called Taskforce Capetown, for being that far to the East. And that was against a 3rd world country which had only a few anti-shipping missiles.

Sinbad2

“I wouldn’t go as far as saying they would get sunk at the wharf”

I would, the safest place for a warship is at sea, in port you are a sitting duck, remember Pearl Harbour.
Even Southfront reports the carrier locations and Russia China UK France and Japan could destroy them easily whilst tied up, at sea they have a fighting chance.

Barba_Papa

Yeah, but its one thing to sink them at sea close to China, its another thing to sink them in an American port. The former would be an embarrassing defeat for the US government, the latter an outrage and a rallying cry for support for the US government. The Japanese could not have handed the US government a greater gift so it could wage war against Japan then the attack at Pearl Harbour. Which showed how utterly stupid they were. Even the socalled great admiral Yamamoto, who came up with this plan and was the self proclaimed expert on the US.

Not to mention that when you sink a ship in the open ocean its lost forever. Almost all the ships sunk at Pearl Harbour were raised and repaired and back in action again by 1943.

Sinbad2

If it came to sinking the American flee at home or abroad, there would already be a war and most Americans would be too busy dying to worry about being embarrassed.

Barba_Papa

Well, they are new at it, and right now they only have one carrier. If you look back at US carrier aviation throughout the 20’s they only had 1 small carrier, USS Langley, And they only had that for the entire decade, until by the end the Lexington and Saratoga joined the fleet. And that’s when carrier aviation took off for the US. The current carrier and the next one are training carriers, so Chinese can learn to fly and operate from carriers, until the real stuff starts to arrive. And that’s when Chinese carrier aviation will take off.

Sinbad2

How long do you think it takes to train a carrier pilot?

Sinbad2

You’ve got the wrong navy, it’s the US Navy that’s short on pilots.

https://www.businessinsider.com/navy-and-marine-corps-pilot-shortage-may-last-until-2023-2018-12/?r=AU&IR=T

Justin

comment image

Sinbad2

Tony Abbott?

Jacob "Wraith" Wohl

No nation’s carriers can surpass the 11 US Navy’s Aircraft carriers
Each US carrier has a massive electronic warfare suite called SLQ-32A(V)4 which can jam any enemy radar/IR guided missiles, enemy radars, and enemy planes
Also each carrier is armed with many RIM-7 sparrow and RIM-116 short/medium range anti-missile/anti-aircraft missiles with a 90% interception capabilities against all types of aerial objects
Meaning, USS carriers are almost impossible for any enemy, let alone some raghead houthi terrorists, to destroy
Don’t forget the 90 F-18s/F-35/s and EA-18 Growlers they carry (LOTS OF FIREPOWER BABY)
:-)

Selbstdenker

Well, my background is SIGINT, ELINT and electronic warfare. The mentioned US systems are not a 100% capable solution. The jamming capabilities especially are something not working as to the specs. The newer Russian and Chinese systems are more jamming resistant than their predecessors. Noone know exactly what the Iranian capabilities are, but speculations are not in favor of US technology. You should read a bit about the latest Bastion system and their variants as an entry.

Joe Kerr

Yeah? Have they tried intercepting a DF26? An Iranian Shkval class torpedo? Nah, didn’t think so.

Jacob "Wraith" Wohl

Carrier has ECM electronic warfare and RIM-7 RIM-116 to intercept and jam ANY type of enemy missile
rendering china’s carrier killer missile and zicron/khinzal OBSOLETE

Fraggy_Krueger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zircon_(missile)
The US is used to fight against inferior opponents. Carriers are sitting ducks – so they would stay well outside the range of any capable adversary.

Jacob "Wraith" Wohl

1) RIM-7, RIM-116, or RIM-174 interceptors would destroy enemy missiles posing a threat to carriers
2) US carrier ECM suite would jam enemy missiles and their radar/homing seekers
;)

Fraggy_Krueger

Your trust in American weapons technology does you credit, yet nobody can tell for sure until it happens.
We may soon find out. The Russians prepare for war while the US prepare war.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

Dude nobody on this site is pro-US, so stop wasting your time trying to tell us how great this american thing is or thqt, maybe one or two people here may agree with u, but the rest of us know that the US is not invincible and that its “enemies” like russia, china, iran, etc. are far more powerful and intelligent than they realize

andyoldlabour

Large ship = large target.
Large disabled/sunk aircraft carrier = missing landing strip for returning planes low on fuel.
Latest missile systems on seabed = rusting junk.

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