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Next Chinese aircraft carrier - Type 002 'Shandong' and Type 003

Archibald

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China is building more large warships in a year than the entire fleet of UK.
China makes more steel in one year than Britain produced since the industrial revolution. They could (in fantasy world theory) rebuild a facsimile post-Ironclad Royal Navy of every ship the RN has ever built since the late 1800s in one year.

China have had the advantage of centralised design, they are told what to design and they go off and do it. They know what a peer Navy like the USN looks like and they have set out to copy it. They are probably still thinking in terms of 1970s-90s terms of strict class descriptions and sizes; cruiser - destroyer - frigate. It doesn't matter what you call a ship, what matters is what its designed for and what armament and sensors it carries. A modern networked frigate with suitable missile capacity is probably far more powerful than the missile destroyers of 30-40 years ago.

The Chinese have been studying aircraft carriers since the 1970s and since they got their hands on the old Melbourne, but its been a long process. They probably know the technical details as well as any Navy but its how they actually put them into use that matters. A lot of speculations in the 1980s about how the Soviets might use their carrier fleet proved to be wide of the mark and those speculations now seem to have been transferred to the Chinese (i.e. power projection using overseas client bases), whether the Chinese will adopt Russian or US doctrine remains to be seen.

This post is amazing, really. First two lines are just mind blowing. I have a soft spot for RN pre-dread, Dreadnoughts, super-dreadnought, battlecruisers... gosh, how many were build, 1890-1945 ? 150 ?

Incidentally they also tried to bought old clemenceau from France back in '96. we said "forget it". Undaunted, they just shrugged off and updated their "carrier shopping list". My favorite part is how they bought one old Soviet carrier after another, three Kievs in a row, to turn them into touristic attractions - supposedly.
The funny thing is that the Chinese made a collection of Kievs yet picked the Kuznetsov sistership as basis for Lianoning, while India bought the last Kiev left by the Chinese... and it was them that turned it into a modern carrier. this is so bizarre.
And imagine if the Russians had build an Ullyanovsk ! Although there are rumors the Chinese got the blueprints of this one, too...
 

Josh_TN

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Im interested in likely propulsion. If nukes this will perhaps be the first nuclear powered surface warship build by China. If it's conventional then i would expect they will go with scaled up version of the previous designs.

Do we know what type of propulsion the type 002 uses? Is it certain that the Liaoning retained the Russian made steam power train? Given the Type 901's all gas propulsion for a ~45000 ton displacement, I'd have thought they would adopt gas turbines at least for the 003. I don't see them making the leap to nuclear in this iteration. It will be interesting to see what type of catapults they use.
 

totoro

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Do we know what type of propulsion the type 002 uses? Is it certain that the Liaoning retained the Russian made steam power train? Given the Type 901's all gas propulsion for a ~45000 ton displacement, I'd have thought they would adopt gas turbines at least for the 003. I don't see them making the leap to nuclear in this iteration. It will be interesting to see what type of catapults they use.

Actually, I think it's more likely they will indeed retain the oil boilers and steam turbines. So they can build upon that for the next, nuclear carrier.
 

Grey Havoc

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The Chinese holding on to the boilers and turbines.
 

stealthflanker

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Actually, I think it's more likely they will indeed retain the oil boilers and steam turbines. So they can build upon that for the next, nuclear carrier.

I'm curious tho whether any differences in turbomachinery between one that use Superheated steam and the one using Saturated Steam.

Pressurized Water Reactor is known to use Saturated Steam due to heat loss in the first loop, therefore its still steam contain some amount of water, Conventional Boiler-Turbine use Superheated steam as the conventional boiler can re-heat its steam so that the steam losses its water content and become "dry".
 

lordroel

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I really would like to see it called something like The Long March ore among that line.
 

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Finally a very clear image of the Type 003 aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Shipyard. For the first time the individual modules - so far 8 - are clearly visible in the dry dock no. 4 and it shows, that these modules are not yet connected.

(Image via https://www.zhihu.com/people/pao-lei-chang)

PLN Type 003 carrier - 20200815 best.jpg
 

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Deino

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Interesting find Deino. One question though, will the Type 003 aircraft carrier be the first Chinese carrier to feature catapults or will it be yet another with a ski-jump? I always thought that the third carrier was to feature EMALS like the USS Ford, or will it be too expensive.


No, as it seems this is the third carrier ans at least AFAIK nothing speaks against it being an EMALS carrier nor for it being again fitted with a ski jump.
 

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Archibald

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Yep. Both EMALS and nuclear... that's a lot on a single plate to swallow in one gulp.
Then again, if they introduce technologies one-by-one the risk is to end with a Jeune Ecole / "flotte d'échantillons" - a fleet of dissimilar ships...

Maybe the Chinese want to go straight to the "Nimitz standard" - without going through the Forrestal / Kitty Hawk / Enterprise / America-JFK - intermediate steps...
 

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Josh_TN

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I don't see the evidence of cats in that pic...what details is the tell?
 

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I don't see the evidence of cats in that pic...what details is the tell?

No flight deck yet so no sign of cats. We refer to this one as CATOBAR rather than STOBAR because of the reporting coming out of China suggesting as much.
 

Archibald

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Very interesting. Make some sense, considering the chinese phased / gradual approach at a lot of military stuff. Carriers included: one step after another.

1 - They started by dissecating old carriers: Kievs, Melbourne (they also tried getting the Clemenceau circa 1996).

2 - Then they finished the Varyag as the Liaoning, with ski-jump.

3 - Then they build a much improved one, from scratch.

Steam cats versus EMALS, steam turbines versus nuclear... those are difficult choices to make for a burgeoning carrier builder.

Getting everything working correctly on a viable ship takes a lot of time and money, and carriers are expensives.

Maybe it is more logical for the Chinese,
going
4 - first, the "classical" good old way: steam and catapults.
(Forrestal / Kitty Hawk, Clemenceaus, Audacious)
5 - secondly, the "Nimitz" way: steam catapults with nuclear machinery.
6 - and finally, the whole new Ford: EMALS, nuclear...

Overall, the whole thing very much looks like a decade-spanning phased program to learn how to build carriers... started in 1990, now 30 years into the making.
 
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FighterJock

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So the PLAN aircraft carrier Type 003 is to be a conventional carrier and not nuclear powered. What made the Chinese stop going to full nuclear for their next carrier? cost or technological problems?
 

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