Chinese Navy Conducts First EMALS Launch, Type 003 Carrier

China’s second domestically produced aircraft carrier and third overall, the Fujian (Type 003) has reportedly conducted its first electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) launch while in outfitting in Shanghai. The images below, first posted on San Weibo reportedly show a launch cart impacting in front of the carrier.

EMALS is a type of aircraft launching system. Currently, only the United States and China have successfully developed it, and it is installed on the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and the Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian. The system launches carrier-based aircraft by means of a catapult-employing a linear induction motor rather than the conventional steam piston.

An illustration of the EMALS

The United States demonstrates successful catapult capability by launching carts off the bow of the ship. This test is reportedly the first successful attempt by the People’s Liberation Army Navy in its history. This test is a sure signal of the Fujian preparing for sea trials.