China is building its second aircraft carrier to extend its military reach amid deepening maritime tensions with neighboring countries, Various media reported on Monday.
The ship is being built in a shipyard in the northeastern city of Dalian, where the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning was refitted before going into service in 2012. The ship is said to be having a more advanced launch system.
The new ship boasts an upgraded launch catapult, a device used on carriers to quickly accelerate aircraft to take-off velocity, instead of less advanced ski jump ramp utilized by China’s current aircraft carrier.
Ding Haichun the present deputy political commissioner of the PLA Navy said, “After the completion of the ship's construction, it will be turned over to the Navy for training maneuvers” he added.
Wang Min, Party chief of Northeast China’s Liaoning province said that the carrier would be completed in six years’ time, and that China ultimately intended to build four aircraft carriers.
China would need a minimum one to be at sea all times, one to be in maintenance at all times and one to be used for training purposes.
At the same time, Liu Xiaojiang the former political commissioner of the PLA Navy said, “I think if we need carriers, the more the better. The key is how much funding do we have.”
“Government’s industrial and manufacturing agencies are now in charge of the ship's construction,”he added.
In 2014, the Communist party secretary of Liaoning province reportedly said that the construction work would be completed by 2020.
The new carrier would the first one that China built domestically, as the Liaoning is a Soviet-era carrier, which China purchased from Ukraine.