New satellite images show China may be building its first indigenous aircraft carrier in the northeastern port of Dalian, according to the military magazine IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, which has released the pictures.
Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier programme, which is a state secret, although Chinese state media have hinted that new vessels are being built.
The Pentagon, in a report earlier this year, said Beijing could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, in a report obtained by Reuters last month, said China was building two aircraft carriers that will be the same size as its sole carrier, a 60,000-tonne refurbished Soviet-era ship called the Liaoning.
IHS Jane’s said the unidentified hull was in an advanced state of construction at a shipyard in Dalian.
“While a conclusive identification of the hull as an aircraft carrier cannot be made until work is observed on the upper decks and potential flight deck, the slow pace of assembly and outline suggests a military hull under construction,” it said on Thursday.
The dry dock is “associated” with the refit and repair of China’s existing carrier, the Liaoning, IHS Jane’s said… see more