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China’s Massive New Aircraft Carrier Is As Big As It Can Be

Zarvan

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Chinese aircraft carrier in dry dock satellite image
Click to Enlarge. The new dry dock on Hainan in the South China Sea is only just large enough for the Type-003 aircraft carrier. This suggests that future carriers will be the same size.

China’s Massive New Aircraft Carrier Is As Big As It Can Be

Aircraft carriers are at the vanguard of China's incredible naval expansion A new, larger super-carrier is being built near Shanghai. Analysis of radar satellite imagery shows that it is as large as China's new bases allow.

H I Sutton 27 Oct 2021
The growth of the Chinese Navy has been incredible. The PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) is barely recognizable from itself twenty years ago. Among the most important developments have been aircraft carriers.

Defense analysts have been trawling open source intelligence (OSINT) to keep up with developments. But like much of China, the shipyard building the latest carrier is protected from traditional satellite observation by impenetrable cloud. A new commercial satellite has provided Naval News with a way to see through this cloud.

Seeing In The Dark Or Through Cloud
Using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites owned by Capella Space we have checked progress on the carrier. This radar imagery can see through the clouds, and at night.

Starting from 10 years ago with imported Russian technology, the latest design is starting to match the U.S. Navy’s super carriers. The PLAN now has two of the Russian-based carriers in service. And the third, the Type-003, is under construction near Shanghai. It is roughly comparable to the U.S. Navy’s Ford Class.

The SAR imagery picks out the three deck catapults, a major change from the Russian based carriers. Those rely on a ski-jump bow to launch aircraft. That works for the J-15 Flanker fighters but does not permit the KJ-600 AWE&C (airborne early warning and control) aircraft to operate. This new twin-prop plane closely resembles the E-2 Hawkeye and is seen as generally comparable to the latest models.

The new carrier as EMALS (electro-magnetic aircraft launch system), like catapults. This is the same technology tat the U.S. Navy is introducing with the Ford Class. It means that the KJ-600 can be operated. And it should improve the endurance of carrier borne fighters. In particular, a new stealthier carrier fighter is expected.

The Type-003 aircraft carrier is visible in this recent radar satellite (SAR) image from Capella Space.

Progress appears steady at the Shanghai yard. Another ship which was recently in the same dry dock, but nearer the river, has been moved. This was blocking the entrance of the dry dock so is a necessary step before the carrier is launched.

We do not believe that launch of the carrier is imminent however. This is because sections of a container ship have been moved into the dock behind the carrier. Two massive holes providing access to the inner workings. This is normal for aircraft carrier construction and the same can be seen on U.S. ships.

Analysis of the imagery also reveals insights on other warship programs. A number of the large hovercraft intended for amphibious ships are still present in the basin, along with other naval vessels.

Of particular interest however, the unique ‘Sailless’ submarine does not appear to be present. Analysts will be watching this submarine closely for signs of it entering operational service, or being moved to a research unit.

Size Matters
1,900 km (1,200 miles) further south, at Sanya on Hainan, work is continuing on a gigantic dry dock for the carriers. The facility is strategically located for access to the South China Sea. One carrier, the Type-002 Shandong, is already based there, together with most of China’s nuclear submarine fleet.

A large cofferdam was built in 2016-17 to keep the sea out while construction took place. The docks are now clearly visible in the SAR imagery. Measurements confirm that the new Type-003 aircraft carrier will be able to fit it. However it’s tight beam suggests that China does not have plans for substantially larger carriers.



The Type-003 carrier (left) is wider and loner tan the first two carriers, such as the Type-002 (left). Catapults replace the ski-jump allowing more types of aircraft to be operated.

Importantly, the largest new dock is only about 80 meters (268 feet) wide, which is the same as the docket where the Type-003 is being built. The Type-003 itself is also approximately 80m wide (our earlier estimates were slightly narrow as it turned out). This suggests that a) the Type-003 will fit inside the new dock, b) any new carrier cannot be any wider if it too is to fit.

Therefore it seems likely that the Type-003 represents the ‘full size’ Chinese aircraft carrier for the foreseeable future. The next ones may be longer, or greater displacement, but not wider. If they are, yet more infrastructure may need to be built.

The new aircraft carriers represent a significant increase in capabilities for the Chinese Navy. And also part of their emergence as a true blue-water force.

China's Massive New Aircraft Carrier Is As Big As It Can Be - Naval News
 

Tai Hai Chen

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Too bad it's delayed by covid lockdown. All work on it and Type 052D and Type 055 and Type 054A have halted.
 

Zarvan

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Too bad it's delayed by covid lockdown. All work on it and Type 052D and Type 055 and Type 054A have halted.
And who told you that ? It's on time so are Type 52 D and Type 55 A. Do you even how many Destroyers China has launched this year. Seriously which world you live in ?
 

redtom

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And who told you that ? It's on time so are Type 52 D and Type 55 A. Do you even how many Destroyers China has launched this year. Seriously which world you live in ?

Anti-china media world, a new parallel universe.
There is a China that is too strong to conquer the world and too weak to collapse at any moment. There XI can control all Chinese minds, but there are plenty of Chinese ready to oppose XI at any time. The Xinjiang concentration camps there can hold millions of people, more than most cities in the world, but they can't be found on satellite. People there are forced to work in hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of cotton fields, but there are no pictures. BTW, I don't know why XI can't brainwash those people to work voluntarily and have to force them.



An amazing world to explore and excited for new stories.
 

Tai Hai Chen

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And who told you that ? It's on time so are Type 52 D and Type 55 A. Do you even how many Destroyers China has launched this year. Seriously which world you live in ?
There are only 3 Type 055 active. The others are on hold due to covid.
 

Zarvan

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There are only 3 Type 055 active. The others are on hold due to covid.
No. More then three are active and several other are under construction
There are only 3 Type 055 active. The others are on hold due to covid.
The 8th Type 055 Destroyer for the PLAN
The 8th Type 055 Destroyer for the PLAN launched by Dalian shipyard in late August 2020

Shipyard In China Launched The 25th Type 052D And 8th Type 055 Destroyers For PLAN

The Chinese naval shipbuilding industry continues to demonstrate an impressive production rate in 2020: The Dalian shipyard yesterday simultaneously launched two new destroyers for the PLAN: A Type 052 and a Type 055.
Xavier Vavasseur 30 Aug 2020

The Dalian shipyard (Northern of China) launched two more destroyers for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN): The 25th Type 052D destroyer (NATO designation: Luyang III-class) and the 8th Type 055 destroyer (NATO designation: Renhai-class cruiser).

The impressive construction rate of China’s shipbuilding Industry
The 25th Type 052D destroyer (background) and the 8th Type 055 destroyer (foreground) at Dalian shipyard on 08/29/2020.

As we previously reported, China shipbuilders launched a total of 10 destroyers in 2019, with the 24th Type 052D and the 6th Type 055 launched by Dalian shipyard on 26 December, setting a new record.

For the record, the first Type 055 was launched on 28 June 2017. In just over three years (38 months exactly), China managed to launch eight of those large destroyers (180 meters in length with a total displacement of 13,000 tons). What’s more: China launched 13 Type 052D destroyers (157 meters in length with a displacement of 7,500 tons) in the same time frame (August 2017 to August 2020).

In the past 8 years, Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai produced an impressive 18 Type 052D destroyers while Dalian Shipyard produced 9 Type 052D.

The first Type 055, Nanchang (南昌 with pennant number 101), was commissioned on 12 January 2020 while two Type 052D were commissioned with the PLAN in 2020: Zibo (淄博 with pennant number 156) was commissioned on 12 January with the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet while Tangshan (唐山 with pennant number 122) was commissioned on 14 August with the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet. Note that both Zibo and Tangshan are the “stretched variant” of the Type 052D featuring an extension to the helicopter deck and measuring 161 meters in length (compared to 157 meters for previous destroyers of the class).

About Type 052D Destroyer
Type 052D Destroyer of the PLAN

The Type 052D Kunming-class (Nato designation: Luyang III) is one of the latest generation of guided-missile destroyer (DDG) of the Chinese Navy. It is based on its predecessor, the Type 052C DDG and likely shares the same hull. However the Type 052D incorporates many improvements in terms of design as well as sensors and weapons fit. This modern class of vessel is considered as the Chinese equivalent to the American AEGIS destroyers.

The vessels are still being built for the PLAN by two shipyards: Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company. The first vessel of of the class, Kunming (hull number 172), was commissioned in March 2014.

Displacing 7,500 tons, the class has a length of 157 meters, a beam of 17 meters and a crew complement of 280 sailors.

Type 052D Destroyer of the PLAN conducting ASW operations with its variable depth sonar

The Type 052D is intended for the high seas. It shares almost the same platform as its predecessor, the Type 052C, but has more advanced combat systems and illustrates perfectly the Chinese military’s “Run fast with small steps” approach in their weapons development.

The ships are equipped with vertical launchers for eight anti-aircraft, anti-submarine or tactical cruise missiles each (64 missiles in total): four modules are located forward of the ship in front of the superstructure, four others aft, in front of the helicopter hangar. In addition to artillery systems, these destroyers are armed with two triple torpedo launchers.

According to a presentation by a Vice Admiral of the PLAN in August 2017, the combat capability of a Type 052D is “1.6 times greater” than that of a Type 052C, knowing that the leading ships of these two classes of Chinese destroyer were launched with an interval of only 9 years.

And a large series of production spread over several years inevitably implies improvements to the initial design. Type 054A frigates, with a total of 30 hulls built, have also experienced “upgrades” in weapons systems, for example. In the case of the Type 052D, it is at the level of its structure that major changes seem to have been implemented from the 14th ship in the class, named Zibo (淄博) with pennant 156. The Chinese destroyer is longer by about 4 meters. This extra length involves primarily its hangar and helicopter deck at the stern of the ship. Probably to accommodate the new Z-20 helicopter.

About Type 055 Destroyer
Type 055 Destroyer Nanchang PLAN
Type 055 destroyer Nanchang. Image via Icloo/PDF

The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatant currently being built in the world with a length of 180 meters, a beam of 20 meters and a draft of 6.6 meters for a full load displacement of about 13,000t (compared to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser and the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer both at 9,800 tons or the Royal Navy Type 45 at about 8,500 tons). Their official PLAN designation is “10,000-ton class destroyer.” while the US Department of Defense have been calling them “cruisers” since 2017.

First ship of the class, ‘Nanchang’ was launched on June 28, 2017 at the Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai and the second one was launched in April 2018 at the same shipyard. Two Type 055 were launched in 2019 and one so far in 2020 bringing the total of hulls in the water at this time to 7. Only the first ship of class has been commissioned to date (in January 2020).

The current Type 055’s weapons fit includes:
  • A 130 mm H/PJ-38 main gun
  • 112 VLS silos
  • A H/PJ-11 CIWS with a fire rate of 10,000 rd/min
  • A HQ-10 short-range missiles
  • Decoy launchers
  • Torpedoes.

The silos are split in two ares: 64x cells forward and 48x cessls aft, just in front of the ship’s double hangar. They are of the same model as those used on Type 052D, compatible with both hot and cold launch missiles thanks to the Concentric Canister Launcher (CCL) concept.

According to our colleague East Pendulum, all Chinese missiles which size does not exceed 9 meters in length and 0.85 meters in diameter can be launched from those VLS cells, provided that the combat system is compatible.



The PLAN is set to fit its first few Type 055 with HQ-9B anti-aircraft missiles with a range of 200 km, YJ-18A anti-ship missiles, a new type of medium range anti-aircraft missile and land attack cruise missiles based on the YJ-18 family, ie, practically the same as those already found on Type 052D destroyers. It is also likely that the new anti-submarine missile Yu-8A is among the ship’s weapons fit.



@Tai Hai Chen This was last year. Several more Type 52 D Destroyers and Type 55 Destroyers and Type 54 A ships have been launched this year.
 

Itachi

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Chinese aircraft carrier in dry dock satellite image
Click to Enlarge. The new dry dock on Hainan in the South China Sea is only just large enough for the Type-003 aircraft carrier. This suggests that future carriers will be the same size.

China’s Massive New Aircraft Carrier Is As Big As It Can Be

Aircraft carriers are at the vanguard of China's incredible naval expansion A new, larger super-carrier is being built near Shanghai. Analysis of radar satellite imagery shows that it is as large as China's new bases allow.

H I Sutton 27 Oct 2021
The growth of the Chinese Navy has been incredible. The PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) is barely recognizable from itself twenty years ago. Among the most important developments have been aircraft carriers.

Defense analysts have been trawling open source intelligence (OSINT) to keep up with developments. But like much of China, the shipyard building the latest carrier is protected from traditional satellite observation by impenetrable cloud. A new commercial satellite has provided Naval News with a way to see through this cloud.

Seeing In The Dark Or Through Cloud
Using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites owned by Capella Space we have checked progress on the carrier. This radar imagery can see through the clouds, and at night.

Starting from 10 years ago with imported Russian technology, the latest design is starting to match the U.S. Navy’s super carriers. The PLAN now has two of the Russian-based carriers in service. And the third, the Type-003, is under construction near Shanghai. It is roughly comparable to the U.S. Navy’s Ford Class.

The SAR imagery picks out the three deck catapults, a major change from the Russian based carriers. Those rely on a ski-jump bow to launch aircraft. That works for the J-15 Flanker fighters but does not permit the KJ-600 AWE&C (airborne early warning and control) aircraft to operate. This new twin-prop plane closely resembles the E-2 Hawkeye and is seen as generally comparable to the latest models.

The new carrier as EMALS (electro-magnetic aircraft launch system), like catapults. This is the same technology tat the U.S. Navy is introducing with the Ford Class. It means that the KJ-600 can be operated. And it should improve the endurance of carrier borne fighters. In particular, a new stealthier carrier fighter is expected.

The Type-003 aircraft carrier is visible in this recent radar satellite (SAR) image from Capella Space.

Progress appears steady at the Shanghai yard. Another ship which was recently in the same dry dock, but nearer the river, has been moved. This was blocking the entrance of the dry dock so is a necessary step before the carrier is launched.

We do not believe that launch of the carrier is imminent however. This is because sections of a container ship have been moved into the dock behind the carrier. Two massive holes providing access to the inner workings. This is normal for aircraft carrier construction and the same can be seen on U.S. ships.

Analysis of the imagery also reveals insights on other warship programs. A number of the large hovercraft intended for amphibious ships are still present in the basin, along with other naval vessels.

Of particular interest however, the unique ‘Sailless’ submarine does not appear to be present. Analysts will be watching this submarine closely for signs of it entering operational service, or being moved to a research unit.

Size Matters
1,900 km (1,200 miles) further south, at Sanya on Hainan, work is continuing on a gigantic dry dock for the carriers. The facility is strategically located for access to the South China Sea. One carrier, the Type-002 Shandong, is already based there, together with most of China’s nuclear submarine fleet.

A large cofferdam was built in 2016-17 to keep the sea out while construction took place. The docks are now clearly visible in the SAR imagery. Measurements confirm that the new Type-003 aircraft carrier will be able to fit it. However it’s tight beam suggests that China does not have plans for substantially larger carriers.



The Type-003 carrier (left) is wider and loner tan the first two carriers, such as the Type-002 (left). Catapults replace the ski-jump allowing more types of aircraft to be operated.

Importantly, the largest new dock is only about 80 meters (268 feet) wide, which is the same as the docket where the Type-003 is being built. The Type-003 itself is also approximately 80m wide (our earlier estimates were slightly narrow as it turned out). This suggests that a) the Type-003 will fit inside the new dock, b) any new carrier cannot be any wider if it too is to fit.

Therefore it seems likely that the Type-003 represents the ‘full size’ Chinese aircraft carrier for the foreseeable future. The next ones may be longer, or greater displacement, but not wider. If they are, yet more infrastructure may need to be built.

The new aircraft carriers represent a significant increase in capabilities for the Chinese Navy. And also part of their emergence as a true blue-water force.

China's Massive New Aircraft Carrier Is As Big As It Can Be - Naval News
The future isn't going to be kind to big and bigger Air Craft carriers...

Which is why the USN is working on proliferating the number of Amphibious Assault, Command & Transport ships which can carry smaller number of air crafts but are also cheaper to acquire/maintain and easier to hide in the island chains of the Pacific.

Just food for thought. :)
 

Zarvan

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The future isn't going to be kind to big and bigger Air Craft carriers...

Which is why the USN is working on proliferating the number of Amphibious Assault, Command & Transport ships which can carry smaller number of air crafts but are also cheaper to acquire/maintain and easier to hide in the island chains of the Pacific.

Just food for thought. :)
It would be a combination of both.
 

Itachi

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It would be a combination of both.
Yes but the bigger AC's will be in the back with the smaller ones in front....

The USN is sitting right on top of China. These big carriers will be limited to the first line of chain (maybe 2nd) or whatever its called by China. Easy targets.

1635399935178.png


1635399974058.png


See how all the fighting will be taking next to China, right at its doorstep??

The US mainland right across the ocean. How is China going to go past the 3rd chain? :D
 

Beast

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Yes but the bigger AC's will be in the back with the smaller ones in front....

The USN is sitting right on top of China. These big carriers will be limited to the first line of chain (maybe 2nd) or whatever its called by China. Easy targets.

View attachment 788241

View attachment 788242

See how all the fighting will be taking next to China, right at its doorstep??

The US mainland right across the ocean. How is China going to go past the 3rd chain? :D
Aircraft carrier is to beat up small or second rated countries that encourage by US to disrupt Chinese influence overseas.

Send 2 aircraft carrrier to bomb them back to stone age, like what US did to Libya or Syria..

If China want to sink UA aircraft carrier, it just need DF-21D and DF-26. If needed, ASBM warhead can be fitted on DF-31A to have global strike capabilities against US aircraft carrier with no escape zone even in florida harbour.
 

Itachi

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Aircraft carrier is to beat up small or second rated countries that encourage by US to disrupt Chinese influence overseas.

Send 2 aircraft carrrier to bomb them back to stone age, like what US did to Libya or Syria..

If China want to sink UA aircraft carrier, it just need DF-21D and DF-26. If needed, ASBM warhead can be fitted on DF-31A to have global strike capabilities against US aircraft carrier with no escape zone even in florida harbour.
Libya and Syria didn't have AShM's and other long range deterrence. By the time your 5 or however many carriers hit the waters, your neighboring countries will probably have some "teeth" to bite onto the hand that seeks to dominate them. :D

As for your DF whatever, all of it depends on the Sat kill chain.....like I said above....all long range missiles depend on some sort of guidance....disrupt it and the missile will either sink into the ocean, burn up all the fuel before sinking or miss the target.

US has a robust Space Command and dominates the Space domain. China is still working on it...

If the US can dismantle even some of the Chinese space assets....there goes the guidance and targeting ability of your long range missiles...

And even the launch sites aren't immune to attack from land, sea/ocean, air or space. :devil:

Warfare ain't a kids game. You got something? Well I have a counter for it....you got a counter counter?? Then I have a counter counter counter.

And so goes on the cat and mouse game. :enjoy:
 

Beast

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Libya and Syria didn't have AShM's and other long range deterrence. By the time your 5 or however many carriers hit the waters, your neighboring countries will probably have some "teeth" to bite onto the hand that seeks to dominate them. :D

As for your DF whatever, all of it depends on the Sat kill chain.....like I said above....all long range missiles depend on some sort of guidance....disrupt it and the missile will either sink into the ocean, burn up all the fuel before sinking or miss the target.

US has a robust Space Command and dominates the Space domain. China is still working on it...

If the US can dismantle even some of the Chinese space assets....there goes the guidance and targeting ability of your long range missiles...

And even the launch sites aren't immune to attack from land, sea/ocean, air or space. :devil:

Warfare ain't a kids game. You got something? Well I have a counter for it....you got a counter counter?? Then I have a counter counter counter.

And so goes on the cat and mouse game. :enjoy:
US always overstated their capabilities. Like the recent submariner incident. Bragging how advance their nuclear sub which crashed, unwilling to reveal more info.
 

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