01 October 2015
A report that China may be ready to launch its first domestically made aircraft carrier by the end of the year is credible, naval experts said, though the warship is not likely to enter service for four years.
The non-nuclear-powered carrier, known as type 001A, will be launched on Dec 26 to mark the 122nd birthday of Mao Zedong, according to a report in the Hong Kong-based Chinese language newspaper Ming Pao, which did not cite sources.
The carrier would take several years before entering service, the paper said, suggesting Oct 1, 2019 — the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China — as a potential date.
China has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an aircraft carrier-building programme, though the Ministry of National Defence website carries an article by China Newsweek speculating that the country wants three.
… “Based on these circumstantial reports, I’ll deem the claim by Ming Pao as quite reliable,” said Mr Collin Koh Swee Lean, an associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
“Assuming the carrier is launched on Dec 26 this year, and fitted out subsequently before entering into a series of harbour and sea trials, the carrier should be ready for service by 2020.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015