China’s Fujian Aircraft Carrier: A Leap in Naval Technology with Electromagnetic Catapult System

On January 2, 2023, China's newest aircraft carrier, Fujian, was showcased on CCTV, a state-run television news station. The broadcast provided an unrestricted view of the aircraft carrier's deck, which revealed the electromagnetic catapult system that can be easily identified. In the footage, it was evident that the carrier has three catapult systems, two of which are situated in the middle of the deck and one on the side.


According to The War Zone, this is the first time that the hi-tech electromagnetic catapult system has been seen installed on an aircraft carrier. It is worth noting that Fujian is expected to be the only other carrier, apart from the United States' Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, to have an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. 

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Fujian has completed mooring tests and has now entered a dry dock before sea trials commence. The video also showed a mock-up Shenyang J-15 fighter jet being pulled along by two tugboats at the rear of the aircraft carrier. It is important to note that the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) currently operates two other aircraft carriers, Shandong and Liaoning, both of which use a ski-jump takeoff.

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In November 2023, catapult testing onboard Fujian was carried out at Shanghai's Changxing Jiangnan shipyard. However, the footage published of the exercise was unclear due to being recorded from a distance. The launch of Fujian aligns with China's military strategy to strengthen its forces and compete with the United States. This is a significant milestone for China's military forces, and their efforts to build a strong navy that can match the US Navy's capabilities.

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