New pictures show China’s ‘supercarrier’ weeks from launch as US warns Beijing could seize Taiwan by 2030
New pictures show China’s ‘supercarrier’ weeks from launch as US warns Beijing could seize Taiwan by 2030

New pictures show China’s ‘supercarrier’ weeks from launch as US warns Beijing could seize Taiwan by 2030

CHINA’S biggest ever high-tech aircraft carrier will be launched in just a matter of weeks, amid fears Beijing is stepping up its plans to invade its neighbour Taiwan.

The launch of the Chinese navy’s enormous Type 003 supercarrier, which weighs 90,000 tonnes and is longer than nine blue whales, has been delayed by the strict Covid lockdown in Shanghai.


China’s Type-003 aircraft carrier is nearing completion, according to new pics[/caption]

tp image chinese warship
It has been captured in pics taken at a Shanghai shipyard

A Chinese Twitter user shared aerial pictures of the nearly-completed battleship at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard.

The Type 003 is said to boast more advanced aircraft-launching technology, allowing it to deploy the FC-31 new generation of stealth fighters.

It is also much faster and has a larger arsenal of weapons on deck than existing aircraft carriers.

The ship is China’s third carrier and is part of an attempt to modernise and expand the country’s military under a new five-year plan.

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At 320 metres long including the overhang, it is only slightly shorter than the USS Ford.

It also appears to have two large, side-mounted aircraft elevators on its starboard side and is fitted with electromagnetic catapults that will sling combat aircraft into the sky.

This is instead of using the ski ramps normally found on older aircraft carriers, or traditional steam catapults.

So-called electromagnetically assisted launch systems (EMALS) are known to be easier to operate and gentler on airframes, while they can also launch heavier aircraft faster.

Last year, satellite images suggested the high-tech aircraft carrier was “close to completion”.

Work began on Xi Jinping’s latest battleship in 2018, which military analyst Robert Farley claimed will be the “largest and most advanced aircraft carrier built outside the United States.

It comes amid claims China is building up its military ahead of a planned invasion of its smaller neighbour Taiwan in the next few years.

Top US intelligence official Avril Haines told the Senate on Tuesday: “It’s our view that [China’s leaders] are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan.”

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, she said that it remains to be seen how Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine has affected China’s plans.

She added that the threat to Taiwan is “acute” between now and 2030.

[China’s leaders] are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan

Avril HainesUS intelligence official

China claims that the island of 23 million is part of its mainland, while Taiwan fiercely guards its independence.

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, senior Taiwanese officials have warned Beijing is ramping up for an invasion of the island 100 miles off its coast.

Shortly after the start of the conflict, China said it was committed to “resolving the Taiwan question in the new era,” in a chilling threat to the country.

The slogan “Today, Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan!” has spread widely across Taiwanese social media in recent months.

Speaking last week, CIA Director Bill Burns said that although Russia appears to have botched its war, this doesn’t seem to have deterred China from its designs on Taipei.

“I don’t think for a minute it’s eroded Xi’s determination over time to gain control over Taiwan but I think it’s something that’s affecting their calculation about how and when they go about doing that,” he said.


At 320m long, it will be China’s biggest battleship[/caption]


It was earlier snapped in a since-deleted TikTok video[/caption]

In recent months, Chinese planes have carried out multiple training exercises in Taiwan’s airspace, while in January, China’s ambassador to the US Qin Gang issued his own warning of a future conflict.

“If Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the US, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the US… in a military conflict,” he told NPR.

Although China’s third aircraft carrier is not yet even completed, Beijing is reportedly already preparing to build its fourth.

In February 2018, China’s State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) said it had started development on a nuclear-powered carrier to help its navy “realise its strategic transformation and combat-readiness capability in deep waters and open oceans by 2025”.

A leaked CSSC document states that the carrier will be slightly heavier than the Type-003, between 90,000 and 100,000 tons, and will also come equipped with EMALS catapults.

China has begun an aggressive naval shipbuilding program, aiming to finish six carrier battle groups by 2035 as part of its Near Seas Defence and Far Seas Protection naval strategy.

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Near Seas Defence is China’s preparation to fight and win control of its closest waters, including the East China Sea, South China Sea, and Yellow Sea.

Far Seas Protection, however, would see Beijing try and exert dominance over critical sea routes as far out as the Western Pacific Ocean.

Published on : May 12, 2022 at 5:06 AM

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