China officially confirmed that it is building its third aircraft carrier which is stated to be bigger and more advanced than the other two current warships, a move by Beijing to bolster its blue-water navy capability to operate far from its borders.
The aircraft carrier, Liaoning was launched in 2012, which was a refit of the former Soviet vessel bought from Ukraine. The ship was operated and started trial expeditions into the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. It is mainly operated by newly built J-15 fighter jet
China will launch the second aircraft carrier that was sent it for sea trials last year. The named of the aircraft is expected to be placed by 2020.
China has launched work of building its third aircraft carrier, official news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.
A new-generation carrier is being constructed at the shipyard as per schedule, the state-run China Daily reported quoting Xinhua. The news article, which was intended to mark the sixth anniversary of the first take-off and landing by a Chinese fighter on the country’s first aircraft carrier CNS Liaoning, the report said, without elaborating about the programme of the “new-generation carrier.”
The Xinhua article is the first official confirmation that China is building a third aircraft carrier, it said.
China has been secretive about the development of its aircraft carriers, though the official media periodically releases faulty or partial reports.
According to Indian Navy Official, the rapid procurement of aircraft carriers by China is of concerns to India too, which currently operating aircraft carriers only INS Vikramaditya since 1961. The ongoing home-made INS Vikrant aircraft carrier is expected to launch sea trials in 2020.
China is involved in disputed territorial disputes with Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Taiwan in the South China Sea, and with Japan in the East China Sea. Both the areas are said to be rich in minerals, oil, and other natural resources.
The US and allies have always been conducting regular patrols in the South China Sea to support freedom of navigation in the area where China has built up and militarised the manmade islands and reefs it controls in the area.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.