While China is selling more commercial jets and unveiling its newest stealth fighter, the China State Shipbuilding Corporation is calling for the building of more aircraft carriers. The company is owned by the Chinese state. China has also recently tried to galvanize aircraft engine research with a 100 billion yuan grant. From AFP:
China should independently build its own aircraft carriers, the country’s largest shipbuilder said at a pivotal Communist Party meeting where Beijing announced plans to become a “maritime power”.
The China Daily reported Tuesday the call for China to match its growing global influence with new military hardware after Beijing in September commissioned its first carrier, the Liaoning, which was purchased from Ukraine.
Hu Wenming, chairman of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), said his company was ready to build “seagoing airbases”, the China Daily reported.
“We must enhance our independent weapons and equipment research and production capacity to match the country’s clout, and independently build our own aircraft carriers,” he told the state-run newspaper on the sidelines of a Communist Party congress which ended last week.
This call to build more carriers comes amid recent maritime tensions in the South China Sea as well as the dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands. Earlier this year, China had also handed over its first aircraft carrier to the navy. According to the Business Standard, the CSSC was responsible for the designing and manufacturing of the Liaoning carrier, which was refitted from one of Russia’s carriers:
Hu Wenming suggested the country develop carriers using what he called catapult stroke technology on the flight deck.
The Liaoning is more than 300 meters long and over 70 meters wide. Flight coordination at sea obviously differs fundamentally from land-based runways, Hu said.
He declined to say how many people were involved in the project to equip the carrier, but said a whole research and development institute under his company was engaged in it, and its workforce had doubled in the process.
He also said his company is ready to build the vessels for the carrier formation “at any time”. Such a formation is generally made up of the carrier itself, destroyers, escorts, supply vessels and submarines, he said