China's Third Aircraft Carrier to Employ Electromagnetic Catapult for Fighter Jets

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:07 PM, January 18, 2018
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China's Third Aircraft Carrier to Employ Electromagnetic Catapult for Fighter Jets
China's unnamed third aircraft carrier under construction (Image: Xinhua)

The fighter jets will use an electromagnetic catapult on China’s third aircraft carrier.

The catapult technology developed by a team led by Ma Weiming, is likely to be employed on China’s third aircraft carrier - and second domestically made carrier - to revitalize the army through science and technology, a Beijing based expert was quoted as saying by Global Times Thursday.

The Central Military Commission has sent signals to adopt scientific achievements to enhance the military's combat capabilities and narrow the gap between China and other powers, the expert said.

A carrier launch aircraft uses three basic methods globally; steam-driven catapult, electromagnetic catapult or a ski jump. The first aircraft carrier, Liaoning adopted the ski jump method. Ten of 11 US aircraft carriers use steam catapults.

The USS Gerald R Ford is the only aircraft carrier that uses an electromagnetic catapult, experts said. The new catapult is believed to be more efficient and less damaging to planes.

Security is the main concern for those who prefer steam-driven over electromagnetic catapults, Li Jie, a naval expert based in Beijing was quoted as saying by the news daily.

Ma told media his team had conducted successful tests on the technology and are confident about its practical use.

As China has overcome the core technological problems of electromagnetic catapults, the technological advantage should be used to enhance combat capability, Li said.

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