News: Recently, China unveiled its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the new-generation Fujian (Type 003). China now has the most number of aircraft carriers after the U.S.

• The Fujian has been named after China’s eastern coastal province which lies across from Taiwan.
• The Fujian joins two other carriers currently operated by China — Shandong (Type 001), commissioned in 2019, and the Liaoning (Type 002), bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998.
• The Type 003 carrier more technologically advanced than its predecessors Shandong and Liaoning.

What are its features?
• The Fujian’s displacement is 80,000 tonnes, much more than the existing Chinese carriers, and comparable to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
• The Fujian has been fitted with the latest launch technology which is the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), first developed by the U.S. Navy.
• It also has a straight flat-top flight deck for take-offs and landings

What is EMALS?
• It is a catapult system which helps to provide the extra push to aircrafts. Once the catapult is released, the aircraft attached to the catapult moves forward with great speed in a short time, which helps it to gain the speed required to take off before it reaches the end of the runway.
• There are two types of catapult systems, one being steam powered, and other electromagnetic ones called EMALS.
• While the former uses steam pressure to fire catapults, EMALS uses linear induction motors. The electromagnetic force generated is used to launch the aircraft.
• Compared to steam catapults, EMALS is more reliable, requires less maintenance, recharges faster, doesn’t take up much space on a carrier and is energy-efficient.

What about India’s Aircraft carriers?
• INS Vikramaditya - It is the Indian Navy’s largest aircraft carrier and warship converted from the Russian Navy’s decommissioned Admiral Gorshkov/Baku. It works on a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery, or STOBAR mechanism with an angular ski-jump.
• INS Vikrant - India’s second aircraft carrier named INS Vikrant, set to be commissioned later this year, will use the CATOBAR system to launch aircraft. Its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.

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