China has been making steady progress building its third aircraft carrier, the first expected to rival the “supercarriers” of the U.S. fleet in size and capability, according to satellite photos and analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
China’s Global Times tabloid, viewed as an organ of the Chinese Communist Party, reported Sept. 13 that the new carrier could be launched late this year or early next.
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The tabloid also cited an unnamed military expert as saying that the new carrier will “likely” feature an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, similar to the newest operational U.S. aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford. The 10 other carriers in the U.S. fleet use steam-powered catapults to launch aircraft.
CSIS said that it is not yet possible to assess whether the new carrier will have