China’s third aircraft carrier is under construction

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The Chinese navy has begun laying down the keel to its third aircraft carrier and the second one that is being built domestically.

Construction of the new carrier will include what is being reported as a “high-tech launch system” even as it completes a new type of destroyer with upgraded weapons that will be deployed in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

The third carrier is being built even as work continues on China’s first home-developed carrier at the Shanghai shipyard, where the keel was laid down last year.

The second carrier should be ready for the fleet by year’s end. The third carrier’s hull is expected to take two years to build.

“Building the new carrier will be more complicated and challenging than the other two ships,” the South China Morning Post reported, quoting People’s Liberation Army Navy officials.

It’s unclear when the third carrier will be launched, but Chinese military officials have previously said the navy hopes to have four aircraft carrier battle groups by 2030. [source]

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