The Strength Of US Ford Class Carrier VS China's Fujian Class Carrier, Who Is Superior in the Ocean?

The Strength Of US Ford Class Carrier VS China's Fujian Class Carrier, Who Is Superior in the Ocean?
The Strength Of US Ford Class Carrier VS China's Fujian Class Carrier

International Military - The launch of China's newest aircraft carrier, named Fujian, has caught the world's attention. China's Third aircraft carrier is said to be similar in size to the United States' Ford and Nimitz-class carriers. But even though China is trying to create a large and sophisticated aircraft carrier, military observers say Beijing still cannot outperform the US carrier.

The aircraft carrier Fujian is categorized as a supercarrier, and Type 003 Class. On June 17, 2022, the aircraft carrier Fujian was first launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

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

In a article entitled 'China Can't Touch US Navy Ford-Class Carrier', it is explained how Chinese ships cannot match US ships. Although relatively new, China's carriers are said to be far behind the US in terms of quantity and quality of aircraft carriers.

The U.S. Navy's newest class carrier, the Gerald R Ford class, is an engineering marvel that is highly technologically advanced. With two dozen examples of new technology, the Ford program cost a staggering $120 billion USD, with each ship costing $13 billion. Both Ford's investment in program resources and the sophistication of design elements make it clear that China has not caught up with the US when it comes to aircraft carrier building.

An aircraft carrier does one thing, really: project air power; an aircraft carrier is simply a transportable floating airfield that can sail anywhere, whenever a country needs to project its air power overseas. Therefore, carrier productivity is measured in terms of how many flights the carrier can produce, or the Sortie Generation Rate (SGR).

The higher the SGR the better. The Ford class is expected to produce 33 percent higher SGR than its predecessor, the Nimitz class. Capable of making planes jump off deck on a regular basis, the Ford could make 160 sorties per day (and could even soar to 270 when needed during wartime).

The SGR upgrade comes largely from the Navy's new aircraft launch and recovery technologies, notably the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear System (AAG).

Quoted from, on the aging Nimitz and Enterprise aircraft carriers, the planes were launched using steam piston catapults. Ford, however, will feature EMALS, which uses a linear induction motor to create a magnetic field that guides the plane along the launch path. In addition to being cheaper, lighter and less fussy than steam catapult systems, EMALS is expected to accelerate the aircraft smoothly, which will reduce the load on the launched fuselage.

In addition, EMALS recharges faster than steam catapults and can be calibrated with precise settings to allow launch of various types of aircraft. All EMALS multiple benefits combine to significantly increase FordSGR. Like many other innovative technologies, developing EMALS is not always smooth, it takes time and money.

Former US President Donald Trump even publicly criticized EMALS, in an interview with TIME magazine. Despite the cost overruns, EMALS is now a fully functional and deployable system, with over 8,000 successful launches.

While EMALS will launch the aircraft, AAG will assist in landing the aircraft. AAG is a modern retaining gear, which will replace the hydraulic retaining gear used on the Nimitz and Enterprise.

Like EMAL, AAG will allow proper setup and therefore recovery of a wide variety of aircraft. Despite incorporating so many expensive new technologies, Ford was designed to cut costs in the long run. One method that Ford will use for cost savings: reduction in labor requirements.

For example, a Nimitz-class carrier requires 5,000 sailors to function. Of course, hiring, housing, feeding, and caring for sailors is one of the main costs of an aircraft carrier. By reducing the number of sailors, Ford class operators will reduce the total cost.

Requiring 1,100 fewer sailors (which have been replaced where possible with modern technology), the Ford class will have significantly less personnel related costs than the Nimitz.

Indeed, between reduced crew requirements, and reduced maintenance requirements, Ford-class carriers are projected to save $4 billion over their 50-year life cycle. The first Ford class is already operational and its performance is commendable. The second Ford class has been launched, and two more ships are under construction.

While China is definitely a rising country, Fujian deserves respect as a leap forward for China's naval technology. The Ford-class carriers, on the other hand, show clearly that America is still the world's leading aircraft carrier.

Quoted from Defense Security Asia, the impact of the presence of China's newest aircraft carrier 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, the Chinese 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 and wants Taiwan to return to it and become a Chinese province.

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.


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