China is likely to complete the construction of its second and third aircraft carriers with the ability to carry J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighters, although a carrier-friendly model may need to be designed first, reports the PLA-run China National Defense News.
China's domestic aircraft carriers will look very similar to the Liaoning, the country's first aircraft carrier bought from Ukraine and refitted. They are most likely to be equipped with a ski-jump ramp, said Admiral Jonathan W Greenert, the US chief of naval operations. The displacement of each vessel will be somewhere between 65,000 and 70,000 tons.
The PLA Navy is planning to form two composite air hangar decks, with 50 fighters for each carrier. However, the design of the Chengdu J-20 is currently too large to be deployed aboard the Liaoning, according to the report. Domestic carrier versions will have to be larger to accommodate them, putting them at an estimated 80,000 tons. Furthermore, they may use a steam catapult or electromagnetic aircraft launch system.
The current J-20 prototype lacks the design specs necessary to take off from a carrier. The length of the first domestically built aircraft carrier may be be longer than the Liaoning by an estimated 20 meters but a new version of the J-20 will have to be designed in any case to be more like the more compact J-15. China's new carrier wing may come equipped with 25 J-15Bs and 25 J-20s.
Once completed, further carriers will greatly increase China's force projection capability into the Western Pacific and Indian oceans.
A-3 was much larger than the F-15.
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