10 Maret 2015
Satellite images on Google Maps indicate that Beijing has constructed a model aircraft carrier in Wuhan Province. (photo : Business Insider)
A People's Liberation Army Navy official has confirmed for the first time that China is building its second aircraft carrier, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
Ding Haichun, a deputy political commissar of the PLA Navy, acknowledged during an interview with Hong Kong media on March 8 that China's second aircraft carrier is currently under construction and will be more advanced than the country's first carrier, the Liaoning, which was retrofitted from the Soviet-era carrier Varyag and commissioned in September 2012.
Once the industrial manufacturing department has completed construction, the carrier will be handed over to the PLA Navy to commence training, Ding said.
Naval power and electrical engineering specialist Ma Weiming added that China's catapult launch technology has absolutely no problems and can compete with that of the United States.
When questioned by reporters, former PLA Navy political commissar Liu Xiaojiang refused to confirm media speculation that the second aircraft carrier would commcence sea trials as early as this year, noting that the manufacturing process and schedule is highly complex.
Liu admitted he is uncertain just how many aircraft carriers the country intends to build. While some have claimed as many as six carriers are needed to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and interests abroad, Liu said the answer will ultimately lie in how much research and development funding is available.(Want China Times)
China has constructed a life-sized mockup of an aircraft carrier flight deck
Leaked data, quickly deleted news stories, and a giant mockup of an aircraft carrier in an unspecified location in central China all indicate that Beijing is working towards building the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier.
Satellite images on Google Maps indicate that Beijing has constructed a model aircraft carrier in Wuhan Province. The model is estimated at being 300 meters (984 feet) long and 80 meters (262 feet) wide. The model is complete with a helicopter landing pad and a model of a carrier-borne aircraft.
The mockup is likely to be used for the testing of communication systems aboard the carrier. The model may also be used for military training exercises, although the model may be too structurally weak to support the landing of actual aircraft on its deck.
Satellite images of the aircraft carrier coincide with the emergence, and subsequent deletion, of a number of local Chinese media reports related to the construction of a second aircraft carrier.
According to AFP, Chinese local media reported on how a company won a contract to supply the cabling necessary for the vessel’s construction. Late last year, another Chinese media story quoted Wang Min, the Communist Party secretary of Liaoning province, talking about how Beijing was expecting to have a second aircraft carrier by around 2020.
Both stories were promptly deleted from Chinese media after being posted.
The drive to develop an aircraft carrier is in keeping with Beijing’s general drive towards becoming its region’s military power. In addition to the carrier, China has been developing a new generation of anti-ship cruise missiles, guided missile naval destroyers, and ballistic missile submarines in an effort to more effectively project power away from the Chinese coastline.
China is locked in maritime disputes with both Japan in the East China Sea and Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea. To more effectively force its interests in the South China Sea, Beijing has begun the construction of a string of man-made islands that can be outfitted as military bases.
By having multiple aircraft carriers, China would be able to effectively projects its aerial power far away from its shores thereby further placing pressure on rival countries in the region (Business Insider)