China’s Type 003 aircraft carrier under construction

The Type 003 aircraft carrier is a planned aircraft carrier of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s aircraft carrier programme. The Type 003 will be the first Chinese carrier to feature an integrated electric propulsion system. This will allow the operation of electromagnetic launch catapults.

The Type 003 configuration would for the first time be catapult-assisted takeoff barrier arrested recovery (CATOBAR), while the first two carriers were short takeoff barrier arrested recovery (STOBAR).

Originally, China’s military did not officially confirm the designation of the Shandong carrier before it was commissioned. This lead the observers to believe that it would be designated as “Type 001A” and China’s third carrier will be designated as “Type 002”.

However, upon commissioning of the Shandong as Type 002, observers now believe China’s third aircraft carrier class would be designated as Type 003 instead.

Due to the secretive nature of China’s aircraft carrier program, information regarding the official naming and designation of the carriers will not be revealed until commissioning.

  • Electromagnetic aircraft launch system
  • Displacement: 85,000 tonnes
  • Propulsion: conventional with integrated electric propulsion
  • Two ships being built in Jiangnan and Dalian Shipyards simultaneously
  • Aircraft capacity of about 40 fighter aircrafts