Shanghai based news network East Day recently reported that the authoritative Chinese Central Television (CCTV) broadcast a new TV documentary program that revealed the actual number of aircraft carriers China has in its plan. The total count on its road map is six. The first two ski-jump takeoff mid-sized models have been constructed. The next two will be conventional power large size models with catapult take-off capabilities. However, the catapult mechanism is still being considered. It is very likely that it will use an electromagnetic catapult. The last two carriers will be nuclear powered large size models reaching a level above the U.S. Nimitz class with partial Ford class capabilities. In the long-term road map, by around the year 2049, China will build another four world-class carriers thus giving the Chinese Navy up to 10 aircraft carriers. The TV documentary also mentioned that China has tested the electromagnetic catapult technology thousands of times and it has achieved the deployment quality for launching different types of aircraft. The Navy has also placed a large number of orders for the J-20 carrier fighter jets. The J-31 V2 version has been undergoing intense flight tests. The status of the nuclear power system for carriers is still unclear, although China has the mature technology to power nuclear submarines.
Source: East Day, November 20, 2017