27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 16:35
27 August 2013 By Zachary Keck- Pacific Sentinel
Earlier this month a series of pictures posted on Chinese military forums appeared to show that China was building its first indigenous aircraft carrier, prompting much speculation and commentary including from The Diplomat.
Now some claim that this narrative might have been mistaken.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News, Kanwa Information Center, a private Canadian think tank, has published a report that claims that the pictures do not show an aircraft carrier. Instead, the Kanwa report—which is based on Ukraine military sources— says the vessel under construction is China’s first amphibious assault ship capable of carrying hovercraft and helicopters.
In other words, if the report is accurate, China is building a Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA)-like ship not completely unlike the Izumo-class helicopter destroyer Japan launched earlier this month, which Chinese analysts referred to as an “aircraft carrier in disguise.”
Kanwa says the vessel is being built at a shipyard on Shanghai's Changxing Island and could be commissioned as early as 2015. It will reportedly displace 35,000 tons, roughly double what China’s three existing Type 071 amphibious assault ships, which displace between 17,000-20,000 tons, according to Sino-Defense. The same source says the Type 071 ships were built by Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard. The location of Changxing Island, suggests that Jiangnan Shipyard is constructing the new vessel.
Read the full story at The Diplomat