China's new aircraft carrier lacks catapult, must stop for refueling
According to the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, the Type 001A carrier – sometimes referred to as the Shandong – has the power and capability of a typical carrier built in the '50s.
China's Global Times reported the analysis pointed out the launch is a "great leap forward," but on an international level the carrier is lagging behind others in its class.
The Chinese carrier does not use a catapult to boost planes off the runway, and instead of using nuclear power, it is conventionally powered.
Without a catapult, the carrier lacks the ability to attack enemy ships at sea, according to the report.
As a conventionally powered carrier, the Type 001A faces greater limits to navigation than nuclear-powered U.S. carriers because it would need to be refueled more frequently. ■