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China's 1st Supercarrier Could Feature EMALS Launch Technology: Report

beijingwalker

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China's 1st Supercarrier Could Feature EMALS Launch Technology: Report
Richard Sisk
September 18, 2020




China has been making steady progress building its third aircraft carrier, the first expected to rival the "supercarriers" of the U.S. fleet in size and capability, according to satellite photos and analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China's Global Times tabloid, viewed as an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, reported Sept. 13 that the new carrier could be launched late this year or early next.

The tabloid also cited an unnamed military expert as saying that the new carrier will "likely" feature an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, similar to the newest operational U.S. aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford. The 10 other carriers in the U.S. fleet use steam-powered catapults to launch aircraft.

CSIS said that it is not yet possible to assess whether the new carrier will have an electromagnetic launch system, "but unofficial sources suggest that China has made significant headway in developing this technology."

In its report Wednesday, CSIS included high-resolution satellite photos showing the carrier laid out in hull blocks at the Jiangnan shipyard on the outskirts of Shanghai.

CSIS estimated the length of the hull blocks at 297 meters, or 974 feet, but added, "As construction continues, we expect the vessel to lengthen by several meters with the addition of the flight deck."

By comparison, the Ford's length is 1,106 feet.

China currently has two carriers -- the Liaoning, a converted Soviet-era warship, and the domestically-built Shandong. Both feature "ski jump" sloped flight decks to launch aircraft.

In its annual report to Congress on China's military strength issued Sept. 1, the Defense Department estimated that China's third aircraft carrier could be operational by 2023.

The report also said that China's military has already surpassed the U.S. in missile development, number of warships and air defense systems.

The CSIS report on China's new carrier was issued the same day that Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a new plan for the Navy to build out the U.S. fleet to 355 ships or more, overhaul shipyards and construct unmanned surface and submarine combatants -- if funding becomes available.

China currently "cannot match the U.S. when it comes to naval power," he said, adding, "We must stay ahead, we must retain our overmatch, and we will keep building."

 

Figaro

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It's not it "could" but it definitely will ... the type of catapult was settled back in 2016 to 2017, the only question not settled is what type of propulsion.
 

beijingwalker

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China’s new supercarrier could feature EMALS tech
Satellite photos show the carrier laid out in hull blocks at the Jiangnan shipyard on the outskirts of Shanghai
By DAVE MAKICHUKSEPTEMBER 23, 2020

A J-15 fighter jet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Liaoning. (Photo/eng.chinamil.com.cn)


Media sources say China’s newest super carrier could very well sport the latest EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) launch technology, similar to the US Navy’s newest operational aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford.

China has been making steady progress building its third aircraft carrier, the first expected to match the “supercarriers” of the US fleet in size and capability, according to satellite photos and analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Richard Sisk of Military.com reported.

China’s Global Times also reported Sept. 13 that the new carrier could be launched late this year or early next.

The report also cited an unnamed military expert as saying that the new carrier will “likely” feature an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, similar to the newest operational US aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford.

The 10 other carriers in the US fleet use steam-powered catapults to launch aircraft.


CSIS said that it is not yet possible to confirm whether the new carrier will have an electromagnetic launch system, “but unofficial sources suggest that China has made significant headway in developing this technology.”

In its report, CSIS included high-resolution satellite photos showing the carrier laid out in hull blocks at the Jiangnan shipyard on the outskirts of Shanghai, Military.com said.

CSIS estimated the length of the hull blocks at 297 meters, or 974 feet, but added, “As construction continues, we expect the vessel to lengthen by several meters with the addition of the flight deck.”


By comparison, the Ford’s length is 1,106 feet.

China currently has two carriers — the Liaoning, a converted Soviet-era warship, and the domestically-built Shandong. Both feature “ski jump” sloped flight decks to launch aircraft.


EMALS uses a surge of electricity to generate electrical currents with strong magnetic fields.

It is supposed to be easier to operate, gentler on airplanes, and capable of launching more planes into the air in a shorter period of time than steam catapults.

Another advantage: The launch control system for electromagnetic catapults know what speed an aircraft should have at any point during the launch sequence, and can make adjustments during the process to ensure that an aircraft will be within 3 mph of the desired takeoff speed, Air & Space magazine reported.

In contrast, once a launch has begun in the steam system, adjustments cannot be made.

If too much steam is used, the nosewheel landing gear, which attaches to the catapult, can be ripped off the aircraft. If too little steam is used, the aircraft won’t reach takeoff speed and will tumble into the water.


An electromagnetic catapult can launch every 45 seconds. Each three-second launch can consume as much as 100 million watts of electricity, about as much as a small town uses in the same amount of time, Air & Space reported.

“A utility does that using an acre of equipment,” says lab engineer Mike Doyle, but due to shipboard space limitations, “we have to take that and fit it into a shoebox.”

In shipboard generators developed for electromagnetic catapults, electrical power is stored kinetically in rotors spinning at 6,400 rpm.

When a launch order is given, power is pulled from the generators in a two- to three-second pulse, like a burst of air being let out of a balloon, Air & Space reported.

As power is drawn off, the generators slow down and the amount of electricity they produce steadily drops.


But in the remaining 42 seconds between launches, the rotors spin back up to capacity, readying themselves to release another burst of energy.

In its annual report to Congress on China’s military strength issued Sept. 1, the Defense Department estimated that China’s third aircraft carrier could be operational by 2023, Military.com reported.

The report also said that China’s military has already surpassed the US in missile development, number of warships and air defense systems.

 

Figaro

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China’s new supercarrier could feature EMALS tech
Satellite photos show the carrier laid out in hull blocks at the Jiangnan shipyard on the outskirts of Shanghai
By DAVE MAKICHUKSEPTEMBER 23, 2020

A J-15 fighter jet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Liaoning. (Photo/eng.chinamil.com.cn)


Media sources say China’s newest super carrier could very well sport the latest EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) launch technology, similar to the US Navy’s newest operational aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford.

China has been making steady progress building its third aircraft carrier, the first expected to match the “supercarriers” of the US fleet in size and capability, according to satellite photos and analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Richard Sisk of Military.com reported.

China’s Global Times also reported Sept. 13 that the new carrier could be launched late this year or early next.

The report also cited an unnamed military expert as saying that the new carrier will “likely” feature an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, similar to the newest operational US aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford.

The 10 other carriers in the US fleet use steam-powered catapults to launch aircraft.


CSIS said that it is not yet possible to confirm whether the new carrier will have an electromagnetic launch system, “but unofficial sources suggest that China has made significant headway in developing this technology.”

In its report, CSIS included high-resolution satellite photos showing the carrier laid out in hull blocks at the Jiangnan shipyard on the outskirts of Shanghai, Military.com said.

CSIS estimated the length of the hull blocks at 297 meters, or 974 feet, but added, “As construction continues, we expect the vessel to lengthen by several meters with the addition of the flight deck.”


By comparison, the Ford’s length is 1,106 feet.

China currently has two carriers — the Liaoning, a converted Soviet-era warship, and the domestically-built Shandong. Both feature “ski jump” sloped flight decks to launch aircraft.


EMALS uses a surge of electricity to generate electrical currents with strong magnetic fields.

It is supposed to be easier to operate, gentler on airplanes, and capable of launching more planes into the air in a shorter period of time than steam catapults.

Another advantage: The launch control system for electromagnetic catapults know what speed an aircraft should have at any point during the launch sequence, and can make adjustments during the process to ensure that an aircraft will be within 3 mph of the desired takeoff speed, Air & Space magazine reported.

In contrast, once a launch has begun in the steam system, adjustments cannot be made.

If too much steam is used, the nosewheel landing gear, which attaches to the catapult, can be ripped off the aircraft. If too little steam is used, the aircraft won’t reach takeoff speed and will tumble into the water.


An electromagnetic catapult can launch every 45 seconds. Each three-second launch can consume as much as 100 million watts of electricity, about as much as a small town uses in the same amount of time, Air & Space reported.

“A utility does that using an acre of equipment,” says lab engineer Mike Doyle, but due to shipboard space limitations, “we have to take that and fit it into a shoebox.”

In shipboard generators developed for electromagnetic catapults, electrical power is stored kinetically in rotors spinning at 6,400 rpm.

When a launch order is given, power is pulled from the generators in a two- to three-second pulse, like a burst of air being let out of a balloon, Air & Space reported.

As power is drawn off, the generators slow down and the amount of electricity they produce steadily drops.


But in the remaining 42 seconds between launches, the rotors spin back up to capacity, readying themselves to release another burst of energy.

In its annual report to Congress on China’s military strength issued Sept. 1, the Defense Department estimated that China’s third aircraft carrier could be operational by 2023, Military.com reported.

The report also said that China’s military has already surpassed the US in missile development, number of warships and air defense systems.

EMALS is the name of the US system ... since we don't know the official designation of the Chinese catapult system, it would be more appropriate to say the 003 has EM catapult tech as opposed to EMALs tech. There seems to be quite some confusing surrounding the EMALS name since General Atomics produced such a broad name.

 

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well if the ship is already laid down and it doesn't have a EMALS already then it is not. because you redesign the ship to install it and or take the Steam system out. that why Nimitz class ships don't have it. because you would have to take the steam system out and then install a EMALS. that is not a over night job. that is a long process.

so if the ship is already laid out and has it engine installed and the steam system installed it a no go for EMALS. also the power uses is huge. the it usually excessed the power output of the Nuclear power generated by the Ford class. they have had to come up with a way to store excess power to use them. so the Chinese would need even more of that since their dieseled powered carriers won't generate as much power.
 

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well if the ship is already laid down and it doesn't have a EMALS already then it is not. because you redesign the ship to install it and or take the Steam system out. that why Nimitz class ships don't have it. because you would have to take the steam system out and then install a EMALS. that is not a over night job. that is a long process.

so if the ship is already laid out and has it engine installed and the steam system installed it a no go for EMALS. also the power uses is huge. the it usually excesses the power output of the Nuclear power generated by the Ford class. they have had to come up with a way to store excess power to use them. so the Chinese would need even more of that since their dieseled powered carriers won't generate as much power.
 

Figaro

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well if the ship is already laid down and it doesn't have a EMALS already then it is not. because you redesign the ship to install it and or take the Steam system out. that why Nimitz class ships don't have it. because you would have to take the steam system out and then install a EMALS. that is not a over night job. that is a long process.

so if the ship is already laid out and has it engine installed and the steam system installed it a no go for EMALS. also the power uses is huge. the it usually excesses the power output of the Nuclear power generated by the Ford class. they have had to come up with a way to store excess power to use them. so the Chinese would need even more of that since their dieseled powered carriers won't generate as much power.
It definitely is EM catapult ... that is for sure. But considering we still cannot conclusively say what type of propulsion it is (i.e. nuclear or conventional), I believe it will be some time before we see the EM catapults being loaded onto the ship. Note current photos do not show the flight deck in any way.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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It definitely is EM catapult ... that is for sure. But considering we still cannot conclusively say what type of propulsion it is (i.e. nuclear or conventional), I believe it will be some time before we see the EM catapults being loaded onto the ship. Note current photos do not show the flight deck in any way.
Not sure if a conventional carrier would have the sustained capability to charge up multiple EMALS catapults in a timely manner. I don't think the nuclear Nimitz class had much spare power either and that is why it wasn't implemented. Ford has 3 times the power of a Nimitz and thus allowed them the ability to field it.

China probably has a nice EMALS system but can the ship handle it...that may be the limiting factor.
 
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Figaro

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Not sure if a conventional carrier would have the sustained capability to charge up multiple EMALS catapults in a timely manner. I don't think the nuclear Nimitz class had much spare power either and that is why it wasn't implemented. Ford has 3 times the power of a Nimitz and thus allowed them the ability to field it.

China probably has a nice EMALS system but can the ship handle it...that may be the limiting factor.
Hence the argument for a nuclear powered carrier ... I will be surprised if 003 can pull off EM catapults with conventional propulsion. But I believe one of the Chinese rear admirals said this was possible in a lecture presentation.
 

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figaro you are correct. that why the US came up with the way to store power. because of high power Demand the EMALS uses. it is hard for me to believe a conventional engine can provide the power a nuclear can't.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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Hence the argument for a nuclear powered carrier ... I will be surprised if 003 can pull off EM catapults with conventional propulsion. But I believe one of the Chinese rear admirals said this was possible in a lecture presentation.
It's certainly possible but probably not practical with all the other electrical stuff like radars. You can jam 20 people into a Honda Civic for a daily commute and it will work...but it won't be optimal.
 

Figaro

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figaro you are correct. that why the US came up with the way to store power. because of high power Demand the EMALS uses. it is hard for me to believe a conventional engine can provide the power a nuclear can't.
It's certainly possible but probably not practical with all the other electrical stuff like radars. You can jam 20 people into a Honda Civic for a daily commute and it will work...but it won't be optimal.
Me too, which is why I think it is highly likely for the 003 to be nuclear powered at this point.
 

Hamartia Antidote

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figaro you are correct. that why the US came up with the way to store power. because of high power Demand the EMALS uses. it is hard for me to believe a conventional engine can provide the power a nuclear can't.
I think the recharge time is the issue. It draws power DIRECTLY from the ship. For the Ford that is 45 seconds. For a conventional ship that would probably be a minimum of 45 seconds of almost the entire ship going on auxiliary power after every launch.
 

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