China's fourth aircraft carrier 'likely to be nuclear powered'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 13, 2021, 02:32 PM(IST)

File photo of an Aircraft carrier Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

According to the South China Morning Post, "shipbuilders are keen on making a significant breakthrough with the construction of the fourth carrier." The report adds that Chinese officials are studying a proposal “to use nuclear power for the fourth carrier”.

China reportedly is building its fourth aircraft carrier -- a move aimed at boosting its naval power in the Asia-Pacific region.

Construction of the fourth ship, which has already been delayed for two years, resumed earlier this year. The vessel is “likely to be nuclear powered”, a new report revealed on Saturday.

According to the South China Morning Post, "shipbuilders are keen on making a significant breakthrough with the construction of the fourth carrier." The report adds that Chinese officials are studying a proposal “to use nuclear power for the fourth carrier”.

China launched its first domestically made aircraft carrier in 2017. The other three aircraft carriers -- two already operating and a third one expected to be launched this year -- don't have nuclear capability.

The first carrier -- 50,000-tonne Shandong, is based on the Soviet Kuznetsov-class design, with a ski jump-style deck for taking off and a conventional oil-fuelled steam turbine power plant. In December, the Shandong aircraft carrier reportedly sailed through the Taiwan Strait on its way to routine drills in the South China Sea, just a day after a US warship passed through the same stretch of sea.

The other vessel in operation is the 60,000-tonne Liaoning aircraft carrier, which was purchased from Ukraine.

The third one, expected to be in operation this year, has an estimated displacement of about 85,000 tonnes.

Apart from these, China already has in its arsenal over a dozen nuclear-powered submarines.

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