Asian Countries Need to Increase Vigilance After China Launches 'Fujian' Aircraft Carrier

Asian Countries Need to Increase Vigilance After China Launches 'Fujian' Aircraft Carrier
China Launches 'Fujian' Aircraft Carrier

Beijing - China has again demonstrated its existence in the world's military power. Some time ago, China launched its third aircraft carrier, named Fujian on June 17, 2022. The aircraft carrier which is categorized as a supercarrier is the Type 003 Class which was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

The aircraft carrier Fujian is categorized as a supercarrier because of its size and weight similar to the size of the United States' Ford and Nimitz-class carriers. Weighing more than 80,000 tons, Fujian is the second largest aircraft carrier besides the United States' carrier.

Quoted from Defense Security Asia, Fujian is China's third aircraft carrier after the Liaoning and Shandong. However, as international observers note, the impact of China's newest aircraft carrier presence needs to be studied in depth.

Compared to previous Chinese carriers, the Fujian will use an electromagnetic catapult system similar to that used by the US carriers to allow it to launch aircraft quickly.

Apart from the electromagnetic catapults, the flight deck of China's newest aircraft carrier is flatter and longer than the two previously owned vessels. In addition, the Fujian design is less visible than previous Chinese carriers.

The Liaoning is a second-hand vessel from Ukraine and the Shandong, China's first aircraft carrier to use ski-jump technology to launch fighter jets from its flight deck. Last May, China's aircraft carrier Liaoning sailed close to Japan and launched 300 flights of fighter jets from its flight deck, angering Tokyo and the United States.

According to the Japanese media, Nikkei, Beijing continues to enhance its military capabilities with its carrier-building technology that is close to that of the United States. It said Asian countries, especially those bordering China, need to be careful with China's military capabilities, especially after the success of building Fujian.

China has named its newest aircraft carrier Fujian after the province closest to Taiwan, which is still considered part of Beijing. Beijing wants Taiwan to return to it and become a province of China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is said to have lived for several years in Fujian and he is not shy about expressing Taiwan's desire to be part of China again. With the world now focused on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Beijing's actions on the Taiwan issue need attention from Asian countries. Fujian is said to be operational sometime in 2024 after completing sea testing.

Beijing also plans to have an aircraft carrier that uses nuclear power to allow it to stay at sea longer without having to return to base to refuel. With an aircraft carrier capable of surviving longer at sea, Beijing's grip on the waters is considered its own. Then what about the sophistication of the Chinese aircraft carrier?

Quoted from Military Watch Magazine, the ship, named Fujian, is the third Chinese aircraft carrier capable of accommodating fixed-wing aircraft. This ship is also the same as the warships Liaoning and Shandong based on the Soviet Kuznetsov Class design.

Not only that, it is also China's 6th ship overall with three Class 075 aircraft carriers. Construction is reported to have started in March 2015, around the same time that the 67,000 tonne carrier Shandong was placed at the sister shipyard in Dalian.

Although the larger carrier took twice as long to complete with the launch of the Shandong just two years later. In addition, the Type 003 Class ships are expected to have significant advantages over all other carrier classes. Both in terms of air wing capabilities.

The aircraft carrier Fujian is designed with conventional rather than nuclear propulsion, the ship is expected to be intended for operations in the Pacific possibly beyond East Asia to the East Pacific. Its effective operations will be facilitated in large part by advances made by China's defense sector in the sophistication of warplanes, drones, destroyers, logistics vessels and other assets. It is also China's first aircraft carrier to be equipped with catapults to launch aircraft.

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