Major Chinese arms manufacturers, including those working on the third aircraft carrier and the J-15 fighter jets have stopped work indefinitely owing to fears of spreading the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Wuhan city, Hubei Province where the coronavirus reportedly originated, is home to many Chinese weapons and equipment design and manufacturing institutes, such as the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd, which builds submarines, the Naval University of Engineering, which is developing advanced naval technologies like the electromagnetic catapult, railgun, full electric propulsion, and submarine-related technologies, state-owned Global Times reported.
Manufacturers of China’s third aircraft carrier and the J-15 fighter jets have halted work to concentrate on controlling the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, the report said
Statements by Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, which is building China's third aircraft carrier, and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, maker of the J-15 carrier-based fighter jet in Northeast China's Liaoning Province said the companies are extending the Spring Festival holiday to Sunday.
Besides, they asked employees who traveled to other cities since the virus outbreak not to return to work until further notice, or quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, the reported latent period for the virus.
This will likely result in delays in the construction of the new aircraft carrier and the fighter jets it needs. The third aircraft carrier will have the electromagnetic catapult system making it China’s most ambitious aircraft carrier project.
Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, was quoted by Global Times Monday that while the virus will impact China's weapons and equipment programs for a few months at worst.