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31 July


US released satellite images of the new Chinese aircraft carrier

It will be the first ship that is fully designed and built in China

Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ Newly released satellite images show how work on China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier has been progressing and provide some clues as to how the vessel will take shape. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

The images, dated to April 17 and released by the US think tank the Centre for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, lift the lid on the construction work at the Jiangnan Shipyard outside Shanghai.

The carrier, known as the Type 002, will be China’s third.

The centre’s ChinaPower analysis said: "While details regarding the Type 002 are limited, what is observable at Jiangnan is consistent with what is expected for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s third aircraft carrier."

China is trying to build up a navy that can operate globally and support its maritime security, but so far it only has one aircraft carrier – the Liaoning, a second-hand vessel from the former Soviet Union.

Photo: CSIS

The images released by the US think tank show that the new carrier has a bow section that appears to end with a flat 30-metre (98-foot) front, while there is a separate 41-metre hull section.

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator, said the Type 002 was not expected to be nuclear-powered because no Chinese surface warships had used the technology, which has so far only been seen on submarines.