China will consider developing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier after it gains enough experience in operating large vessels, Senior Captain Zhang Junshe with the People's Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute said.
China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, which refitted the Liaoning and is building the second carrier in Dalian in northeastern Liaoning Province, has been researching nuclear-powered ships since 2013, PLA Daily reported Friday.
Du Wenlong, a senior researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Science, previously has said that it is highly possible that the navy's next-generation aircraft carrier will be equipped with nuclear propulsion.
China already has nuclear submarines that require highly sophisticated technologies and manufacturing capabilities, so developing a nuclear carrier will not be difficult, he was quoted as saying.
China has long demonstrated its eagerness to manufacture its own aircraft carrier, hoping to build on the relative success of the second-hand ex-Soviet carrier it bought from Ukraine in 1998.
It was reported in July 2015 that China confirms that it's building an aircraft carrier that may be nuclear powered.
"The priority missions of building the aircraft carrier and nuclear-submarines have been carried out smoothly and with outstanding achievements," the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation said in an internal document, reported the media, including the mil.news.sina.com and huanqiu.com.
With China’s long-term goal of having at least four aircraft carriers, the country is looking into a host of cutting-edge technologies that can be used on future vessels.