Beijing, April 22: China may set afloat its third aircraft carrier in the second half of 2022 with plans to demonstrate several new technologies, including electromagnetic catapults, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported on Friday, citing a Chinese military expert. “I think it [aircraft carrier] can be launched in the second half of 2022,” Song Zhongping said. The commissioning of the third aircraft carrier may take longer than the usual process, lasting from three to four years after the start of construction works, because the vessel has several new technologies, including electromagnetic catapults, the military expert added, according to the report.
The vessel was scheduled for launch on April 23, the 73rd anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. But the launch was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus disease outbreak in Shanghai. China already operates two aircraft carriers, with the first called Liaoning. Built based on Soviet unfinished cruiser Varyag. Which Beijing purchased in 1998. The ship firstly conducted its water performance test in 2011. The second aircraft carrier called Shandong was launched in 2017. After a four-year building process and was first tested in 2019.