Adding on to these rumors:Apparently Rear Admiral Zhang Xu Dong at an appearance at Zhejiang institute of technology stated that the carrier being built at Shanghai would displace 78,000 tons and have conventional propulsion and electromagnetic catapults.
Zhang Xu Dong was formerly a captain of the 052C DDG 170.
So, all things that we've known about roughly for a while now, but this is just another bit of a tidbit to add further weight to that consensus.
If he did state this then I would believe that the information he is giving is accurate and a reflection of the state of affairs, and not merely a "recycling" of the same rumours we have had for a while now (namely the displacement) if the rumours were inaccurate, however the possibility of the latter cannot fully be excluded.
But at present the consensus continues to be that 003 will be a conventionally powered carrier with EM cats and a displacement of around 80,000 tons (depending on whether the 78,000 tons is normal or full).
- 003 will have displacement 78,000 tons (likely standard displacement) with EM cats and conventional propulsion.
- 004 will begin construction at Dalian in the coming years, nuclear with EM cats, and the design has largely been finalized.
- 5th generation naval fighter is well under development and apparently is already undergoing testing.
Let's wait for more news.