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China Said to Be Planning a Fleet of 4 Aircraft Carriers

The planned Chinese fleet of four carriers compares to a U.S. total of 12, five of which are stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

China's first aircraft carrier, a former Soviet carrier, docked after its handover to the People's Liberation Army navy in northeast China's Liaoning province. Credit: AFP/Getty.
China's first aircraft carrier, a former Soviet carrier, docked after its handover to the People's Liberation Army navy in northeast China's Liaoning province. Credit: AFP/Getty.
The birthplace of Naval aviation may be interested to learn that China is planning to build a fleet of four aircraft carriers, two more than the carriers homeported at North Island but considerably less than the U.S. total.

A report Wednesday on Defense Tech, an authoritative military blog, said a Chinese party official made the comment, which was picked up by Chinese and other Asian media. The party official's comment was later deleted from official Chinese media.

The Chinese unveiled their first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in 2011 and have started construction of a second carrier.

The U.S. has 10 active carriers, one being outfitted and one under construction. Five are based in the Pacific, including two at North Island, two at Bremerton, WA, and one forward deployed in Japan.

U.S. carriers are considerably larger than their Chinese counterpart, displacing 97,000 tons versus 60,000 tons.

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