30 Jun '18, 3pm
Will China Have 7 Aircraft Carriers by 2025?
The 2012 commissioning of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and the subsequent expansion of the country’s carrier fleet, with three new warships currently in various stages of testing or construction, has been cause for great apprehension among its potential adversaries in Asia and the West. Borrowing heavily from the highly ambitious Soviet Kuznetsov and Ulyanovsk carrier programs initiated in the late 1980s, both of which were cut short by the country’s collapse, China is on schedule to have four carriers by 2025. Not only is the PLAN’s fleet numerous, but its vessels are growing in both sophistication and size. While the carrier Liaoning, a better armed and modernized sister to the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, leaves much to be desired in its sophistication, state of the art technologies developed for future carriers ...