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China will build 4 nuclear aircraft carriers in drive to catch US Navy, experts say

2019-02-06 10:10:22       source:South China Morning Post

February 6, 2019

China’s plan to have at least six aircraft carrier battle groups by 2035 will include four that are nuclear-powered as it builds up its naval capability closer to that of the US Navy, Chinese military experts believe.

They said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s hardware may by then be closer to matching the world’s leading superpower in aircraft carrier technology after decades of trying to close the gap – but it would still lag behind the Americans because of a lack of real combat experience.

All of China’s new carriers are expected to be equipped with electromagnetic launch catapults similar to those used by the United States, the experts predicted. The US’ electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) can launch more aircraft more rapidly than the older diesel launching systems.

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