China’s third aircraft carrier to be launched in 2021
China's third aircraft carrier is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021, according to local media reports and projections based on recent images.
The Type 003 carrier will enter service for the PLA Navy in 2025, and will be more capable than the previous two with much larger displacement and electromagnetic catapults.
Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Chinese defense industry journal, said that the publicly available images, blocks of the type 003 aircraft carrier are being assembled in Shanghai and the general outline of the warship is already recognizable.
The upper structures will be assembled after all the blocks are put together, the study said, noting that since the blocks are designed in advance, the assembly and outfitting work will take far less time compared to China's second aircraft carrier.
The current status indicates that Type 003 could, the magazine predicted, be just a few months away from its launch before the end of 2021.
The carrier will then perform outfitting work, mount equipment including radar and sensor equipment, conduct tests and embark on sea trials that could take approximately two years, suggesting that the warship will enter naval service in 2024 or 2025.
China Central Television, the Chinese state broadcaster, also expects the third aircraft carrier in the world to make its public debut in 2021.
Ordnance Industry Science Technology, citing measurements based on the images, said that the Type 003 is larger than China's second aircraft carrier, the Shandong, and has a scale close to that of the Kitty Hawk-class of the US, displacing more than 80,000 tons. An even greater displacement of 100,000 tons was forecast by some other international media.
Maritime Business World