Chinese Navy

China to build nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Liaoning under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has announced to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Liaoning by the middle of the next decade. It was announced as part of its list of ambitions hope to achieve in weaponry and technical developments for People’s Liberation Army (PLA)-Navy by 2025.

Key Facts 

The Chinese Army has announced that Beijing wants to field its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Liaoning by the middle of the next decade.

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation on Tuesday announced a list of ambitions hope to achieve in weaponry and technical developments for the People’s Liberation Army-Navy by 2025.

Chinese President Xi Jinping  pledged in October last year to turn China’s military into a world-class fighting force by 2050, and has made new technology development a key policy plank, investing in stealth fighters, aircraft carriers and missiles.

State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the country’s largest naval vessel manufacturer, revealed on Tuesday the ambition in a list of technical developments the company hopes to achieve as part of weaponry upgrades for the Chinese navy by 2025, according to the state-backed Global Times.

 

Nuclear powered aircraft Technology by China 

“The defence company stated the enhancement will  “speed the up the process of making technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet submarines, maritime unmanned intelligent confrontation systems, maritime three-dimensional offensive and defensive systems and naval warfare comprehensive electronic information systems”.

China’s navy has two aircraft carriers running on conventional oil. The French Navy’s flagship, the Charles de Gaulle, is the only non-US aircraft carrier powered by nuclear reactors. Each Nimitz-class and Ford-class carrier in the US Navy is or will be run by nuclear power.

China commissioned its first-ever aircraft carrier, Liaoning, a refurbished Soviet ship it bought from Ukraine, in 2012. Its second carrier and the first domestically built carrier, known as Type 001A, was launched in April last year.

A third aircraft carrier, Type 002, is said to be under construction at the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard Group, although it has yet to be officially confirmed by authorities.

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) stated that it plans to “speed up the process of making technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet submarines, maritime unmanned intelligent confrontation systems, maritime three-dimensional offensive and defensive systems, and naval warfare comprehensive electronic information systems.”

This is the first time a state-owned Chinese defense firm has openly identified nuclear-powered aircraft carriers on its agenda, said the Global Times, the tabloid affiliated to the People’s Daily – the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post also reported that the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier could be operationalised by 2025 to bolster its maritime defence capabilities.

Military experts said China may have achieved initial progress in its research of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and that it may not be too long before the authority confirms the news.

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC)

Liaoning

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is one of the two largest shipbuilding conglomerates in China, the other being the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC). It was formed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1999 from companies spun off from CSSC, and is 100% owned by SASAC. Headquartered in Beijing, the CSIC handles shipbuilding activities in the north and the west of China, while the China Condition Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) deals with those in the east and the south of the country.

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