CSIS: China’s Third Aircraft Carrier Takes Shape
Wed June, 2021, Age: 2 years
Satellite imagery shows that work is proceeding on China’s Type 003 aircraft carrier, slated to become the largest surface combatant in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). As the flight deck has taken shape, CSIS estimates that the vessel’s length measures approximately 315 meters, larger than the 304.5 meters-long Liaoning and Shandong (Type 001 and 002, respectively) carriers and roughly comparable to the U.S. Navy’s Kitty Hawk-class of carriers. If work continues at the same pace as the construction of previous aircraft carriers, the Type 003 may be launched in 2022. After launching, it will be several years before the vessel is fitted out, completes sea trials, and is finally commissioned into the PLAN.