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China recently launched a new aircraft carrier for final sea trials that has been billed as the height of military advancement. And at first glance, that certainly appears to be the case.
The new aircraft carrier is quite large and features a neat-looking ramp at the forward end of the deck that one would assume would be beneficial to aiding jets with takeoff along the short runway.
Report - Washington - Examiner - Thing - Aircraft
But according to a report from the Washington Examiner, looks are about the only thing this aircraft carrier has going for it. Apparently, it was built more for political prestige than advancing or sustaining actual combat power.
The new carrier — known as the Type-001A, and China’s first fully self-constructed carrier — is expected to be fully operational by next year, but it likely won’t see much, if any, actual operational duty due to a number of significant weaknesses inherent in the design.
Weakness - Design - Carrier - Disadvantage - Carriers
The first such weakness is that it is based off of the aged design of an older Soviet Union-designed carrier, which places it at a disadvantage to newer carriers operated by likely rivals in the region, such as Australia, Japan and, of course, the United States.
The neat-looking ski-jump ramp at the front of the deck is actually a hindrance to the carrier’s capabilities, as only older fighter jets are able to launch from it, meaning newer and more advanced fighter jets are incapable of landing on or launching from the carriers.
Lack - Fighter - Jets - Arsenal - Carrier
The lack of new, advanced fighter jets in its arsenal means the carrier can’t venture much further than the range of air cover provided by land-based aircraft in China, lest it be largely defenseless to an attack.
Nor can China rely on air cover provided by the makeshift military bases they’ve built in the South China Sea to protect the carriers, as those small man-made...
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