China’s next-gen aircraft carrier, designated Type 002, will incorporate an advanced electromagnetic catapult system for launching aircraft, Chinese experts say.

Allegedly, Chinese engineers have been successful in developing a new integrated propulsion system (IPS) — a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network” — that will allow the ship to have more power for a catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) launch system that is similar to the U.S. Navy’s electromagnetic aircraft launch system, or EMALS, without having to use nuclear power.

Chinese engineers have allegedly successfully developed a new integrated propulsion system (IPS)–“a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network”—which would allow more power for a catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) aircraft launch system similar to the U.S. Navy’s electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) without having to resort to nuclear power, the South China Morning Post (SCMP)reported on November 1.

A PLAN aircraft carrier equipped with EMALS would substantially boost the PLANs carrier force’s combat power. They put less stress on an aircraft’s airframe and will allow the Chinese navy to launch a wider variety of planes including anti-submarine, early-warning, and aerial tanker aircraft.

The Type 002 could become the first non-Western carrier to be equipped with a CATOBAR aircraft launch system, though the Indian navy’s new supercarrier, the INS Vishal, will also reportedly feature a similar system.

China’s first indigenously designed aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, is currently being built at the Dalian shipyard in Liaoning Province.

Analyst comment: Like the United States, China will use its carriers to project power and defend its interests around the world. And make no mistake, China seeks to expand its influence globally, otherwise, there would be no need to spend the money building aircraft carriers.

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-China conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.