China’s second aircraft carrier under construction in Dalian port will have conventional propulsion system and a ski jump deck for aircraft to take off.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said today during a news conference in Beijing that the design is based on experiences from the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, bought from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.
This is the first time that China has admitted to the carrier project besides giving out information about its propulsion system and aircraft take-off system. Yang’s statement rests speculation among China watchers that the carrier would have nuclear propulsion system besides an electro-magnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) which catapults the aircraft to a certain speed.
Modern aircraft carrier design is based around a nuclear powered engine and an EMALS catapult aircraft take-off system. India, which is building its own aircraft carrier, is seeking American technology to build its own EMALS launch system though not much is known about its choice of propulsion.
Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the carrier had been designed in China and was being built in the port of Dalian.
"China has a long coast line and a vast maritime area under our jurisdiction. To safeguard our maritime sovereignty, interests and rights is the sacred mission of the Chinese armed forces," Yang said.
Yang also said that the carrier will have a displacement of 50,000 tonnes and will be able to operate the J -15 fighter with a ski-jump take off system.
Once this carrier enters service it will be the first to enter active duty. The Chinese Navy has maintained that the Liaoning is meant for training and to get the fleet familiarized with carrier operations though it has participated in naval exercises.
The yet to be named second carrier will officially be China’s first aircraft carrier in fleet service. The spokesman did not say when the second carrier would enter service, saying it depended on progress in the design process.