The massive ship was expected to be launched this month, but Shanghai’s lockdown has affected the plans, a Chinese paper reports
A massive Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai has stalled the planned launch of China’s third aircraft carrier, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Sunday, citing sources.
According to the publication the vessel was due to be completed by this month. But, there were problems in the supply chain that delayed it.
“The plan faces delay as the rampant pandemic in Shanghai has delayed the transport of some key components,”An unnamed source informed the SCMP (a Hong Kong-based English language newspaper) that Alibaba Group owns.
According to the source, “the Shanghai shipyard has been understaffed because almost all local state-owned enterprises need to transfer a certain amount of manpower to help the ongoing anti-pandemic campaign.”
The giant vessel, commonly known as Type 003, has been under construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard on Shanghai’s Changxing Island since 2017. According to the SCMP, the carrier was widely expected to be launched on April 23, which will be the 73rd anniversary of China’s Navy. Last year, Chinese media stated that the ship should be operational by 2022.
Beijing currently has two carriers – the Liaoning, which was originally built as a Soviet ship, and the Shandong, launched in 2017. Type 003 is equipped with three electromagnetic catamapults. This will replace the ski jump launch ramps that were used for older carriers.
According to the source, the Covid-19 epidemic has delayed the construction of two supply vessels for naval operations.
China’s largest Covid-19-related outbreak has been under control for two years using a combination of mass testing and lockdowns. Shanghai officials relaxed some restrictions last week for residents and issued guidelines Saturday to allow companies to resume their work.
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