Type 002 aircraft carrier
|Operators:||People's Liberation Army Navy|
|Preceded by:||Type 001A aircraft carrier|
|Succeeded by:||Type 003 aircraft carrier|
|Propulsion:||conventional with integrated electric propulsion|
|Aviation facilities:||Hangar deck|
The Type 002 aircraft carrier is a second generation Chinese aircraft carrier design. The Type 002 will be the first Chinese carrier to feature an integrated electric propulsion system. This will allow the operation of electromagnetic launch catapults similar to the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) used by the United States Navy.
Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo of the People's Liberation Army Navy said in 2013 that China's next aircraft carrier would be equipped with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system. Multiple prototypes were spotted by media in 2012, and aircraft capable of electromagnetic launching were tested in Chinese Navy research facilities.
Construction of the carrier began in the mid-2010s, although the precise date is unknown. The National Interest reported that construction began in March 2015, while The Diplomat said that "initial work" had begun in February 2016, followed by a notice to proceed given to the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard Group in March 2017.
According to report in July 2017, the construction of Type 002 aircraft carrier had been delayed while the Navy tested electromagnetic and steam-powered catapult systems. In November 2017, it was reported that the Navy had developed a new means of powering electromagnetic catapults with conventional power sources instead of nuclear reactors, and further work on the Type 002 was due to begin imminently.
The ship is expected to be launched in 2020 and enter active service in 2023. It is estimated to have an aircraft capacity of about 40 jet fighters, such as the Shenyang J-15, and several propeller powered transport and AEWC aircraft.
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