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China launches Fujian, its third aircraft carrier

20th June 2022 - 06:11 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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China launched its third aircraft carrier on 17 June. The Type 003 was indigenously designed and built in China. (Chinese MND)

To surprisingly restrained fanfare, China launched its largest and most-capable aircraft carrier yet.

Nothing speaks of power projection more than aircraft carriers, such vessels representing a critical part of China’s navy’s future image and capability. Symbolising this aspiration, China launched its third carrier, a Type 003, at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard on 17 June.

A short ceremony took place – likely curtailed because of COVID protocols – where the vessel’s name was confirmed as Fujian, the name of the coastal province of China that faces Taiwan.

The carrier bears the pennant number ‘18’, but its flight deck was partially covered by three tent-like structures that hid its catapults.

Displacing ‘more than 80,000t’,

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