China has begun construction of the country’s third aircraft carrier, which is slated to hit the waters after two years, the local media reports.
Beijing’s new Type 003 plans to push the boundaries of Chinese naval aviation. "Building the new carrier will be more complicated and challenging than the other two ships," a military source told the South China Morning Post.
"The shipyard is still working on the carrier's hull, which is expected to take about two years," the official told the Post.
Shipbuilders and technicians from Shanghai and Dalian are working on the third vessel, which will have a displacement of about 80,000 tonnes – 10,000 tonnes more than the Liaoning, according to another source close to the PLA Navy.
One goal for the Type 003, the CV-18, is to use an electromagnetic launch system, which will mean less wear and tear on the planes and it will allow more aircraft to be launched in a shorter time than other systems.
China's ambition is to have four carrier groups operating with the People's Liberation Army-Navy by 2030. The Liaoning is currently the only carrier in the fleet, but the Type 001A is expected to go into full service by the end of 2018, while the Type 002 is slated to hit the waters within months