00X/004 future nuclear CATOBAR carrier thread


Kalec

Junior Member
Registered Member
Great picture, the clearest up-to-date satellite photo I have ever seen.

I remembered when there was still arguments on whether 003 was conventional or nuclear, probably in 2018, someone found out this experimental reactor. iirc it was supposed to complete by 2023 and ready to deploy on carrier in 2025 back then, but it was ancient history in CJDBY. I also remember it was meant to design as supercritical water reactor in a bid to leapfrog A1B.
 

latenlazy

Brigadier
Sure, but that's what the land-based airfields is for. It's cheaper than carriers, has a more robust logistics chain, and Chinese jets can range out to anywhere where they'll need to go in a war over Taiwan.
For China’s coastal defenses land based airfields are fine. For area control in 1st or 2nd island chain contingencies you will need carriers.


Chinese planes, both domestically penned and Soviet import based, tend to have very long ranges. This means that these planes can be launched deep within mainland China, behind walls of IADS, and strike against any USN vessels attempting a blockade. I'd go further and note that these far-flung bases are in fact a detriment, since US naval assets can launch attacks on them with more ease, especially since China can't deploy ASW assets as readily outside the SCS and therefore has little in a way of an ability to stop a submarine from sneaking out and using cruise missiles to strike Chinese air bases.
A function of needing to travel far to get to an area is that your persistence suffers once you get to the forward area of interest. Getting to an area but not being able to persist is fine if you just want the reach to hit something far. It’s not really a substitute for being able to field persistent power projection.

If you want to beat a blockade it’s better to hold the geography, not simply try to attrit blockade assets with long range strikes.
 

charles18

New Member
Registered Member
...

The PLA is probably building out their carrier fleet for far out in the future. They know carrier doctrine is hard, both from research and from talking to US, British, and French airmen, and so they want to build this doctrinal skill base early. As such, a nuclear reactor makes sense to me. If a nuclear carrier doesn't work out for China, then they lose relatively little and they learn how to better build their next one. If it works, it really won't contribute to the most important conflict for China. Right now, China doesn't need to develop carrier capacity but carrier competence and replacing the propulsion system with nuclear just makes more sense than yet another conventional CATOBAR. I think the next platform will be nuclear.
I believe the next carrier will be conventional.
However, If I had to play devil's advocate........here's my argument:

Let's start with a fact that we can all agree on, China is the number one trading nation on this planet. China has an economic relationship with countries and companies spread across the entire globe. If there's ever a future war, these economic interests will be under attack by a rival competitor. The economic damage to China would be catastrophic. Therefore China needs to be able to project power globally. Anything less than global power projection is unacceptable. If the circumference of the globe is 40,000 km, then China needs a weapon system that can literally travel 40,000 km if necessary to get the job done. Only nuclear propulsion can provide this.
 

VESSEL

New Member
Registered Member
Great picture, the clearest up-to-date satellite photo I have ever seen.

I remembered when there was still arguments on whether 003 was conventional or nuclear, probably in 2018, someone found out this experimental reactor. iirc it was supposed to complete by 2023 and ready to deploy on carrier in 2025 back then, but it was ancient history in CJDBY. I also remember it was meant to design as supercritical water reactor in a bid to leapfrog A1B.
It's just a traditional pressurized water reactor, and the supercritical water reactor has a long way to go from the construction of the demonstration project.
 

TK3600

Junior Member
Registered Member
I believe the next carrier will be conventional.
However, If I had to play devil's advocate........here's my argument:

Let's start with a fact that we can all agree on, China is the number one trading nation on this planet. China has an economic relationship with countries and companies spread across the entire globe. If there's ever a future war, these economic interests will be under attack by a rival competitor. The economic damage to China would be catastrophic. Therefore China needs to be able to project power globally. Anything less than global power projection is unacceptable. If the circumference of the globe is 40,000 km, then China needs a weapon system that can literally travel 40,000 km if necessary to get the job done. Only nuclear propulsion can provide this.
Disagree. USA and EU are out in the war. That leaves majority of trade with ASEAN and east Asia. Energy trade with Russia and Iran can be done by rail. African trade and South America is about the only issue affected by naval.
 

davidau

Senior Member
Registered Member
I believe the next carrier will be conventional.
However, If I had to play devil's advocate........here's my argument:

Let's start with a fact that we can all agree on, China is the number one trading nation on this planet. China has an economic relationship with countries and companies spread across the entire globe. If there's ever a future war, these economic interests will be under attack by a rival competitor. The economic damage to China would be catastrophic. Therefore China needs to be able to project power globally. Anything less than global power projection is unacceptable. If the circumference of the globe is 40,000 km, then China needs a weapon system that can literally travel 40,000 km if necessary to get the job done. Only nuclear propulsion can provide this.
Why 40, 000Km why not 20, 000Km? You don't have to circumnavigate the globe to reach their designated targets.
 

charles18

New Member
Registered Member
Why 40, 000Km why not 20, 000Km? You don't have to circumnavigate the globe to reach their designated targets.
You are correct, the combat radius would be 20,000 km
I was unclear.
The round trip distance would be double or 40,000 km
I meant you need 40,000 km to reach your target and also get back home.

South America is a good example of a place that is really far away from China. It is almost 20,000 km away. If China ever gets cut off from the continent there is very little the PLA navy can do.
 

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