China 'achieves breakthrough' in nuclear aircraft carrier

Beijing is planning to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to 'safeguard national interests', according to Chinese state media.

One Chinese aircraft carrier expert was quoted saying that the country has achieved a breakthrough in nuclear-powered carriers.

The same expert said the development of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is 'very necessary' and it could help China rival the U.S. navy in technology.

Beijing is reportedly planning a nuclear aircraft carrier. The picture, shared by Huanqiu.com, shows a possible design of the nuclear-powered carrier suggested by Chinese web users

Beijing is reportedly planning a nuclear aircraft carrier. The picture, shared by Huanqiu.com, shows a possible design of the nuclear-powered carrier suggested by Chinese web users

Huanqiu.com also shared this picture to show another possible look of Beijing's nuclear-powered carrier. The development of the carrier was mentioned in a press release this week

Huanqiu.com also shared this picture to show another possible look of Beijing's nuclear-powered carrier. The development of the carrier was mentioned in a press release this week

The U.S. has 10 active aircraft carriers - the largest fleet in the world - while its main military rivals, Russia and China, only has one active carrier each, according to a report by Reuters last year. 

According to the World Nuclear Association, nuclear-powered reactors could run for up to 50 years without needing refuelling, which means nuclear-powered ships or submarines could remain at sea for long periods of time.   

The Chinese nuclear-powered carrier is being planned by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, according to China's Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily. 

The news website also shared two pictures provided by web users. The pictures show what China's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier could look like.

The rumoured developer of China's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was responsible for extensively refurbishing China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (pictured in July, 2017)

The rumoured developer of China's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was responsible for extensively refurbishing China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (pictured in July, 2017)

State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp said in an online press release on Tuesday that it would 'accelerate the process of building a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier', reported Huanqiu.com. This is the first time China has ever revealed its plan of a nuclear carrier.

The statement also claimed that the nuclear carrier is a part of Chinese navy's plan to operate further and longer overseas by 2025. 

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