Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian

Fujian (18; Chinese: 福建舰; pinyin: Fújiàn Jiàn) or the Type 003 aircraft carrier is a Chinese aircraft carrier under outfitting for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China and named after Fujian province. Fujian was launched on 17 June 2022 and is China’s first aircraft carrier with a fully indigenous design,[8] featuring a CATOBAR system[9] and electromagnetic catapults.[10][11][12]

Fujian (18)
Class overview
BuildersJiangnan Shipyard
Operators People's Liberation Army Navy
Preceded byType 002
Succeeded byType 004
  • Fujian
  • (Chinese: 福建舰)
NamesakeFujian province
BuilderJiangnan Shipyard
Laid downMarch 2015 - February 2016
Launched17 June 2022
StatusFitting out
General characteristics
Class and typeType 003
TypeAircraft carrier
Length300 m (984 ft 3 in) (waterline)[5]
316 m (1,036 ft 9 in) (o/a)[6]
Beam39.5 m (129 ft 7 in) (waterline)[1]
76 m (249 ft 4 in) (o/a)[7]
PropulsionSteam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, >220,000 hp (164MW)[4]
Aviation facilitiesHangar deck

The Type 003 class was originally unofficially called Type 002 when Shandong, China's then-incomplete second carrier, was believed to be designated Type 001A. Shandong's official designation, Type 002, was revealed during commissioning. Observers hence believed the third carrier will be Type 003.[5]


The Type 003 is expected to use steam turbines and electromagnetic catapults,[10][11][4] whereas preceding Chinese carriers were conventionally powered and launched aircraft with ski jumps.[10][9]

For CNS Fujian's propulsion system, its structure is still not very clear. According to Chinese military commentator Song Zhongping, the system was "integrated electric propulsion" (IEP).[13]

The carrier's size is expected to be between the unfinished 85,000-ton Soviet aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk[14] and the United States Navy's 100,000-ton supercarriers.[15] Early assessment measured the Type 003 at approximately 300 meters (984 ft 3 in) long, roughly the length of the US Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class ships.[16] Renewed assessment indicated that its length was 316 meters and has a flight deck with a width of 76 meters.[17][6][7] Comparisons have also been drawn to the American Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carriers.[18][19] Earlier press reports and Chinese media generally suggested that the ship might have a displacement of around 80,000 tons to 85,000 tons. Later assessment backed by satellite images suggested the displacement was underestimated, and the Type 003 carrier might be closer in displacement to about 100,000 tons.[11][20][21] Analyst Robert Farley believes the Type 003 will be the "largest and most advanced aircraft carrier ever built outside the United States" when completed.[14]

In 2018, Kyle Mizokami predicted the carrier would operate an air group of 40 fighter aircraft, plus propeller-powered transport and airborne early warning and control aircraft.[22]


The Type 003 was originally intended to use steam-powered catapults.[5] In 2013, PLAN Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo said that China's next aircraft carrier would be equipped with an electromagnetic launch system.[23] Multiple prototypes were spotted by media in 2012, and aircraft capable of using the system were tested at naval research facilities.[24] The change to electromagnetic (EM) catapults likely explains the increase in size from previous Chinese carriers.[5]

Construction began in the mid-2010s. The exact date is not known; The National Interest reported March 2015;[25] The Diplomat reported that "initial work" had begun in February 2016, followed by a notice to proceed given to the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard Group in March 2017.[26] Works were reportedly delayed in June 2017 by electromagnetic and steam catapults tests.[27] By November 2017, the Navy had reportedly developed an IEP system to power electromagnetic catapults, allowing work on the Type 003 to resume.[10][28][29]

The block modules were moved from the manufacturing facility to the staging area in May 2020, and into dry dock in July 2020. Almost all of the keel and base hull blocks were in the dock by early September 2020; the foremost part of the bow was missing. Measurements based on satellite and aerial photography suggested a hull/waterline length of 300 meters - nearly the flight deck length of China's existing carriers - a maximum beam of 40 meters (131 ft 3 in), and a displacement of more than 85,000 tonnes (84,000 long tons).[5] In mid-2020, anonymous Chinese sources projected a launch in the first half of 2022.[11] In September 2020, Rick Joe of The Diplomat projected a launch in mid-2022 at the earliest.[5]

In July 2021, satellite pictures showed that construction was moving ahead, with key elements such as the superstructure and three catapult launch systems being added to the hull.[30][17] On 10 November, Bloomberg reported that "China is three to six months away from launching its third aircraft carrier", citing a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.[31]

The aircraft carrier, named Fujian, was launched with the hull number 18 on 17 June 2022.[32] This name received scrutiny in Western media as its namesake Fujian province is located opposite Taiwan across the strait.[33][34][35] However, a PLA Navy spokesperson explained that Chinese aircraft carriers are named after provinces, as per PLAN vessel naming regulations. Previous Chinese aircraft carriers, Liaoning and Shandong, are also named after provinces of China.[36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Jialong Jiao, Huilong Ren, Christiaan Adika Adenya (15 July 2015). "Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Hull Girder Vibrations and Bow Impact of a Large Ship Sailing in Waves". Shock and Vibration 2015(3):1-10. p. 2. Retrieved 17 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "我国第三艘航空母舰下水命名 许其亮出席下水命名仪式". 新华网. 17 June 2022. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  3. ^ Lau, Jack (17 June 2022). "China launches Fujian, PLA Navy's 3rd aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ a b 王世纯 (19 June 2022). "一周军评:横空出世的福建舰" (in Simplified Chinese). 观察者网. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Joe, Rick (29 September 2020). "003 and More: An Update on China's Aircraft Carriers". The Diplomat. Retrieved 31 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b "China launches third aircraft carrier". 17 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b ZACH (17 June 2022). "China Launches Fujian Type 003 Carrier – Here's What We Know". Overt defence. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  8. ^ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (17 June 2022). "China upgrades its naval force with its first indigenous aircraft carrier". NPR.
  9. ^ a b Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2020 (PDF) (Report). United States Department of Defense. 1 September 2020. pp. 44, 47. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d Minnie Chan (1 November 2017). "Breakthrough to power most advanced jet launch system on China's second home-grown aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post.
  11. ^ a b c d O'Rourke, Ronald (29 March 2021). China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities - Background and Issues for Congress (PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service. pp. 14–15. RL33153. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  12. ^ Jack Lau (17 June 2022). "China launches Fujian, PLA Navy's 3rd aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post.
  13. ^ "福建艦象徵國產航母實現跨越式發展". 香港文匯報. 18 June 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  14. ^ a b Farley, Robert (10 May 2019). "The Significance of China's Second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier". The Diplomat. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Analysts - Images show construction on China's third - and largest - aircraft carrier". Reuters. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. ^ Sutton, H I (21 April 2021). "China's New Aircraft Carrier Is In Same League as US Navy's Ford Class". Naval News. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  17. ^ a b Rick Joe (4 August 2021). "A Tale of 2 Navies: India and China's Current Carrier and Escort Procurement". The Diplomat. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  18. ^ "China's Third Aircraft Carrier Takes Shape". CSIS. 15 June 2021.
  19. ^ Chen, Frank (28 May 2019). "Third PLA carrier could be China's Kitty Hawk". Asia Times. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Construction of Chinese Type 003 CV-18 aircrat carrier continues to progress at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai". Navy Recognition. 18 June 2021.
  21. ^ Rising, David; Moritsugu, Ken (17 June 2022). "China launches high-tech aircraft carrier in naval milestone". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (19 January 2018). "China's Next Aircraft Carrier Will Be a Massive Leap Forward". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Chinese aircraft carrier should narrow the gap with its U.S. counterpart". People's Daily. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  24. ^ "简氏:中国试飞改进型歼-15 或用于测试电磁弹射器_《参考消息》官方网站". Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  25. ^ "China's Next Aircraft Carrier: Everything We Know (So Far)". The National Interest. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  26. ^ "China Kicks Off Construction of New Supercarrier". The Diplomat. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  27. ^ "China Explores Electromagnetic Carrier Launch System". AIN online. 6 July 2017.
  28. ^ "China's New Aircraft Carrier to Use Advanced Jet Launch System". The Diplomat. 1 November 2017.
  29. ^ Johnson, Reuben F (2 November 2017). "China claims to have developed conventionally powered electromagnetic catapult". Jane's 360.
  30. ^ "China's third aircraft carrier could launch this year but still needs jets". 16 July 2021.
  31. ^ "China Nears Launch of First Modern Aircraft Carrier, Report Says". 10 November 2021.
  32. ^ Lau, Jack (17 June 2022). "China launches Fujian, PLA Navy's 3rd aircraft carrier". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  33. ^ Martin Quin Pollard (18 June 2022). "China launches third aircraft carrier, named after province opposite Taiwan". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  34. ^ Sinéad Baker (17 June 2022). "China launches its 3rd aircraft carrier, naming it after the province directly facing Taiwan". Business Insider. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  35. ^ "China launches new aircraft carrier in bid to catch up with US capability". Financial Times. 17 June 2022. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  36. ^ Newdick, Thomas (17 June 2022). "China Launches The Fujian, Its Most Capable Aircraft Carrier Yet (Updated)". The Drive.