China’s Carriers May Carry Modified J-20 Stealth Fighter

China is likely to complete the construction of its second and third
aircraft carriers
with the ability to carry J-20 fifth-generation
stealth fighters
, although a carrier-friendly model may need to be
designed first, reports the PLA-run China National Defense News.

China’s domestic aircraft carriers will look very similar to the
, the country’s first aircraft carrier bought from Ukraine and
refitted. They are most likely to be equipped with a ski-jump ramp, said
Admiral Jonathan W Greenert, the US chief of naval operations. The
displacement of each vessel will be somewhere between 65,000 and 70,000

J-20 stealth fighter

J-20 stealth fighter

The PLA Navy is planning to form two composite air hangar decks, with 50
fighters for each carrier. However, the design of the Chengdu J-20 is
currently too large to be deployed aboard the Liaoning, according to the
report. Domestic carrier versions will have to be larger to accommodate
them, putting them at an estimated 80,000 tons. Furthermore, they may
use a steam catapult or electromagnetic aircraft launch system.

The current J-20 prototype lacks the design specs necessary to take off
from a carrier. The length of the first domestically built aircraft
carrier may be be longer than the Liaoning by an estimated 20 meters but
a new version of the J-20 will have to be designed in any case to be
more like the more compact J-15. China’s new carrier wing may come
equipped with 25 J-15Bs and 25 J-20s.

Once completed, further carriers will greatly increase China’s force
projection capability into the Western Pacific and Indian oceans.