OE Watch Commentary: China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is aiming to build the country’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by 2025, according to the recent accompanying excerpted article by the South China Morning Post. Currently, China already possesses two conventional powered carriers and is nearing completion of a third. Developing a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, as the article points out, will allow the Chinese navy to “go on long missions on the high seas.” It will also “be key to firing up an advanced electromagnetic aircraft launch system, in contrast to the ski-jump launches now in use.” Other possible advantages not mentioned in the article include: greater flexibility without the hassle of refueling, energy independence, more storage capacity for weapons and aircraft fuel, and an environmentally clean source of (nuclear) energy. Other notable projects being undertaken by CSIC, according to the article, include a “new type of nuclear submarine (China already has several nuclear submarines in its fleet), submarine artificial intelligence combat systems, and a “comprehensive electronic information system” for maritime battles.” End OE Watch Commentary (Hurst)
CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation) also said it was working on a new type of nuclear submarine, submarine artificial intelligence combat systems and a “comprehensive electronic information system” for maritime battles. The South China Morning Post reported earlier that China was installing AI systems on its nuclear submarines as part of computer upgrades to aid decisionmaking.
“We must … provide high-quality weapons and equipment for the navy’s strategic transformation towards a blue-water force in 2025,” CSIC said.
Nevertheless, China will need to go down the nuclear power route if its aircraft carriers are to be able to go on long missions on the high seas. Nuclear power will also be key to firing up an advanced electromagnetic aircraft launch system, in contrast to the ski-jump launches now in use.