The future appearance of China’s aircraft carrier cluster
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The future appearance of China’s aircraft carrier cluster

Liaoning aircraft carrier group exercises

China last month sent the aircraft carrier Liaoning and escorting warships through the Miyako and Taiwan Straits, then to exercises in the South China Sea with fighter takeoff and landing training exercises along the way to demonstrate its

The Liaoning ship carries at least three Z-18 helicopters, eight J-15 fighter ships, protected by two Type-052C destroyers, one Type-052D destroyer, two Type-054A frigates and one Type-054A frigate.

International military experts believe that by 2030, the next Chinese aircraft carriers will be built very similar to the current Liaoning CVBG cluster.

In the future, China’s self-made Type-003 nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will launch.

Equipped with a nuclear reactor, the Type-003 has a cruise speed of over 55 km/h.

The air group on the aircraft carrier is likely to still be the J-15 multi-mission fighter and electronic warfare variant.

The EMALS system can help the Type-003 launch aircraft with a takeoff weight of up to 50 tons as refueling, early warning and guidance aircraft for anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and small transports.

The future appearance of China's aircraft carrier cluster

Part of the Liaoning combat aircraft carrier cluster.

The escort squadron in China’s future aircraft carrier battle group will likely include the Type-055 destroyer and a new type of frigate such as the Type-057.

Depending on the mission, amphibious ships like the Type-071 can be assigned to aircraft carrier battle groups to deploy marines and air support forces.

The undersea escort force will be the Type-095 nuclear attack submarine, which has higher stealth capabilities and is equipped with stronger firepower than China’s current submarines.

China will need many years of operations to gain experience with the Liaoning aircraft carrier and other aircraft carrier clusters.

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