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Saturday, December 17, 2016

STRATFOR: A Look at Progress on a Chinese Aircraft Carrier, June 3, 2016

A Look at Progress on a Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China's aircraft carrier program is the centerpiece of its strategy to project force as a global naval power. Not only do Chinese aircraft carriers lend Beijing military prestige, but they will also be instrumental in securing crucial overseas supply lines. For now, China's aircraft carrier program is in its early stages, but Beijing plans to eventually commission at least three carriers…

The new Type 001A aircraft carrier will follow the Liaoning's basic design, though slightly improved. Like the Liaoning, the new ship will have a displacement of approximately 50,000 to 60,000 tons, and it will feature a Short Takeoff But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) system. STOBAR allows aircraft to take off under their own power, using a curved ramp for assistance; when landing, planes hook onto arrestor wires. STOBAR, though effective, is not as capable as the catapult system, known as CATOBAR, used on U.S. Nimitz-class fleet carriers. Relative to STOBAR, CATOBAR enables launched aircraft to carry significantly more fuel and greater payloads…

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