January 4, 2023
BEIJING – The CNS Fujian, China’s third aircraft carrier, will undergo trials at sea this year, according to Senior Captain Qian Shumin, executive officer of the vessel.
Qian said in a news program broadcast on Monday on China Central Television that the trials will contribute to the realization of the centenary goals of the People’s Liberation Army.
He did not provide details on the new carrier’s schedule.
The Fujian was unveiled on June 17 in Shanghai as it was towed out of its dry dock at the China State Shipbuilding Corp’s Jiangnan Shipyard. The carrier is now in the final stages of construction at the shipyard.
Upon its completion, the gigantic vessel will displace more than 80,000 metric tons of water. It will be the largest and mightiest warship any Asian nation has ever built, as well as one of the world’s biggest.
Currently, the PLA Navy operates two carriers — the CNS Liaoning and the CNS Shandong. Both have a standard displacement of around 50,000 tons and a conventional propulsion system, and they use a ski jump method for launching fixed-wing aircraft.
Compared with its two predecessors, the Fujian is much bigger and heavier, and has a larger flight deck and smaller superstructure.
The Liaoning underwent 10 sea trials before going into service, and the Shandong conducted nine before its commissioning.