China’s Home Build Aircraft Carrier, Fujian, Advances In Cutting-Edge Technology

China’s Home Build Aircraft Carrier, Fujian, Advances In Cutting-Edge Technology

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) second home-built aircraft carrier, the Fujian, has made significant strides, according to a recent report by the Chinese state television program Military Time. The state-run Chinese television network CCTV aired a military affairs program that showcased the latest developments in the electromagnetic catapult launch technology of the vessel. With footage of the catapult system circulating twice a month, this breakthrough represents a substantial advancement in carrier development.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) on board the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is a feature that sets the Fujian apart from all other aircraft carriers in the world. It is noteworthy that the Fujian, although propelled by traditional means, has a sophisticated catapult launch system, distinguishing it from the two carriers in service with the PLAN, Liaoning and Shandong.

Aircraft Carrier
Representation Image

According to The South China Morning Post, the Fujian has more operational deck space than previous versions because it was not built with a ski jump. Improved aircraft manoeuvrability and deployment are made possible by this design.

The “multifunctional integrated electronic mast,” a technological marvel created by researchers at the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology, is one of the carrier’s cutting-edge characteristics. This innovation aims to decrease susceptibility to interference and weathering while streamlining radar, electronic surveillance, and electromagnetic suppression capabilities.

The electromagnetic CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system from Fujian, shown in recent photos, is particularly significant because it is expected to replace the ski jumps on PLAN carriers that are now in use. According to former PLA Navy senior colonel Cao Weidong, the system is a groundbreaking application of conventional power for electromagnetic catapult launches.

China’s advances in naval technology generate concerns about possible advantages over the carrier fleet of the United States Navy. The USS Gerald R. Ford continues to be the benchmark for maritime engineering. Still, China presents a significant challenge due to its quick development rate and incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies.

The “blue-water” navy that President Xi Jinping envisions for China highlights the country’s dedication to developing its marine capabilities. The forthcoming sea trials of the Fujian and the addition of a prototype of China’s next fighter aircraft indicate Beijing’s relentless efforts to achieve naval supremacy.

Even with China’s naval capabilities progressing, it is still unclear how much more operationally effective the Fujian is than its American equivalents. However, maritime strategists worldwide must pay close attention to China’s proactive modernization of its navy.

Reference: Newsweek, National Interest

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