First Chinese Built Aircraft Carrier

First Chinese Aircraft Carrier Gets China Ready for a Second

This website was originally intended to contain my journey as a student pilot and various articles about aviation that I found interesting. One topic in particular that I have seemed to write a lot about in the scattered articles of the past has been aircraft carrier operations. Past articles have included the F-35 Making It's First STOVL LandingF-18s Conducting Pitching Deck Operations, and China's Acquistion of Their First Aircraft Carrier. It is the last article in the aforementioned list that is most relevant to what I'm writing about today.

According to The National Interest in an article titled Confirmed: China is Building 2nd Aircraft Carrier, China is building it's first domestically built aircraft carrier and first to be considered "combat ready". The first aircraft carrier acquired by China, the Liaoning, was a Soviet-era Carrier purchased by China from Ukraine, and used as a training ship for aircraft carrier operations. According to other sources from The National Interest the new ship is going by the name Shandong.

More details on the ship are listed in a report by Defense News, stating that  "like Liaoning, Shandong will also utilize a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system. Under STOBAR, aircraft are launched taking off from a ramp on the ship's bow. Although China has constructed traditional steam-powered catapults at its naval aviation base, it apparently wants to leapfrog to the latest Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) technology, which is being fitted to the U.S. Navy's new Ford-class carriers.

Aircraft Take-off From Soviet Style Aircraft Carrier Deck

The short take-off ramp method of launching planes is less than ideal. In order to take off in such a distance without a steam or electromagnetic-powered assist aircraft must keep their takeoff weight down. That, in turn, limits the amount of weapons and fuel they can carry, curtailing their range and combat effectiveness. It also rules out using larger and slower propeller-driven aircraft such as the U.S. Navy's E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Unlike U.S. Navy carriers, Shandong will likely be limited to an all-fighter fixed wing aircraft force, with early warning and control provided by land-based aircraft. This will ultimately restrict how far the carrier can operate from land-based support."

China has stated that this is one of four additional aircraft carriers that it intends to build. However before you get too concerned with the pending ramifications that a Chinese fleet of aircraft carriers may bring, keep in mind that the construction on the Shandong only recently began in 2015 and isn't expected to launch until 2020. 

Below is a video on the aircraft carrier Shandong from NewsBeat Social.


"According to Ferguson, grey things are invisible. Apparently it's just total luck that planes manage to find aircraft carriers in the middle of the ocean." - Nick Hancock
First Chinese Built Aircraft Carrier First Chinese Built Aircraft Carrier Reviewed by Joseph Burlas on February 08, 2017 Rating: 5