China will soon start building its second locally designed aircraft carrier in Shanghai, according to a Canadian report.
Kanwa Asian Defence, an English-language monthly defence review produced in Toronto, said Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard was preparing to start work on the carrier.
When completed, the carrier and another under construction in Dalian will give the PLA Navy two fully functioning, battle-ready aircraft carriers.
The recently completed Liaoning, the refitted former Soviet carrier Varyag, is classed as a training platform, not a full combat vessel, by the navy, since it went into service in September 2012.
Counter to many expectations, the new carrier about to be built at the Jiangnan Shipyard will use conventional, not nuclear power.
This is the second new-build, in addition to the Liaoning. It will be interesting to see what the configuration is. And the choice of conventional power isn’t terribly surprising. Nuclear power of the kind needed for an aircraft carrier is a tough nut to crack. You can build a 30,000 horsepower nuke for a sub fairly easily. The quarter million horsepower for a carrier is somewhat harder.