Chart of the Day: 75th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy

April 23 marks the 75th founding anniversary of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

Over the decades, the PLA Navy has developed into a strategic force consisting of five services with both nuclear and conventional weapons, heading toward its goal of becoming a world-class navy.

Since the commission of China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, in 2012, China has made significant progress in building its aircraft carrier fleet, achieving the upgrading from scratch, refitting to domestic design and manufacture, from ski-jump to catapult, and entering the era of “three aircraft carriers.”

Liaoning is China’s Type 001 aircraft carrier. It is a refitted Soviet Union-made carrier, which was the put into commission by China on September 25, 2012. 

The Type 002 carrier, Shandong (hull number 17) was delivered and commissioned on December 17, 2019. It is China’s first independently designed, built and outfitted aircraft carrier. Construction of the carrier began in November 2013. It was launched in April 2017 at a shipyard in Dalian City, northeast China’s Liaoning Province. The carrier has improved comprehensive combat effectiveness and support capabilities.

China launched its third aircraft carrier, the Fujian (hull number 18), on June 17, 2022. Fujian is China’s first domestically designed and manufactured carrier which is equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices. It has a full-load displacement of more than 80,000 tonnes.

“In recent years, our aircraft carriers have achieved leapfrog development. It’s safe to say the development path with Chinese characteristics has been tested with actual results. Now, the range of missions of the domestically made aircraft carrier Shandong is also constantly expanding as it rapidly develops. Our first carrier that uses catapults, the Fujian, is also accumulating strength. We believe that in the near future, the three aircraft carriers will show our strong power on broader international stage,” said Cui Yonggang, captain of the Liaoning.