Aircraft Carrier Comparison: Chinese Type 001A VS The US Ford Class Carrier – Army / Navy Comparison
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Aircraft Carrier Comparison: Chinese Type 001A VS The US Ford Class Carrier – Army / Navy Comparison

September 25, 2019


In recent years, China’s aggressive expansion
of its military presence on disputed South China Sea territories has highlighted for
the nation’s leadership the necessity for a ‘blue water’, or ocean-going, navy. As the cornerstone of any modern naval force,
the Chinese turned their ambition towards developing a homegrown aircraft carrier- now,
nearly a decade after refitting a half-built former Soviet carrier as a test ship, the
Chinese have recently put to sea their first indigenous aircraft carrier: the Type-001A. Meanwhile, the USA is simultaneously launching
its newest model of aircraft carriers, the Ford Class, as it finishes a 3-year pivot
of its naval forces to the South Pacific in preparation for a possible confrontation with
an increasingly aggressive China. Today, we’ll take a look at a potential
showdown between two of the mightiest ships ever constructed, in this episode of The Infographics
Show, the Chinese Type-001A vs the US Ford Class carrier. To determine a victor, the ships will go head-to-head
in three key areas: crew, speed/power, and armaments. China’s navy is re-entering ‘blue’ waters
for the first time in over a century and faces a combat-proven United States Navy. But who who would win in an all-out fight? A modern aircraft carrier is essentially a
small floating city, housing a crew of thousands who must flawlessly execute dangerous take-off
and landing operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all weather conditions. In combat, crews can potentially be launching
and recovering 240 aircraft a day, meaning that this small city must operate in perfect
unison at all times- and all the while with hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of
live bombs and jet fuel on or below the flight deck. Needless to say, crew expertise is a critical
component of any aircraft carrier. The American Ford Class is entering service
into a navy with a rich aircraft carrier tradition. Both in its own wars, and assisting allies
or UN forces, the aircraft carrier has been the tip of American power for over 70 years,
and its pilots and crews indubitably the most experienced in the world. During the height of carrier-based strikes
during the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, American carriers were generating sortie rates
of more than 200 a day, an absolutely incredible feat of teamwork and expertise. The Chinese meanwhile have only now reached
6 years of aircraft carrier experience. For any new navy, and especially its pilots,
the task of operating and launching sorties from a carrier is a difficult and often painful
one to master. Landing a 70,000 lb (32,000 kg) airplane atop
a moving deck in the middle of the ocean is an incredibly difficult task for any airman,
and Chinese pilots were not only learning how to do this for themselves, but actually
designing the training program for future pilots simultaneously. Due to Chinese censorship, exact figures are
impossible to verify, but it is clear by the leak of reports of ongoing accidents involving
pilots both at sea and testing carrier technologies on dry land, that the Chinese are finding
the process of cutting their teeth on carrier operations to be as painful as any other nation’s. Another important factor, however, is the
Chinese government’s shaky faith in its own troops due to decades of corruption. As he assumed office in 2012, Chinese President
Xi Jinping was warned by senior staff that they doubted China’s ability to fight and
win any war due to the prevalence of corrupt and incompetent military leadership. Xi would immediately launch a series of historic
anti-corruption purges, announcing in 2016 that an incredible one million officials had
been punished for corruption. Western observers note that corruption is
still a major concern for Chinese leadership, and also point at a three-times lowering of
military recruitment standards as signs of questionable fitness from its service members. Still, the launching of the Type-001A clearly
signals a Chinese navy that’s shaping up and literally shipping out. Shaking off the dark shadow of corruption
and boldly stepping forward into its first carrier program, China is still unfortunately
overwhelmingly outclassed by America’s experience, giving the Ford Class the advantage for crew
expertise. Our next critical assessment of the two aircraft
carriers lies in the area of speed. Aircraft carriers are the vanguards of a nation’s
naval forces, and as such need to be fast enough to get to hot spots anywhere in the
world quickly. Speed isn’t just important for getting to
warfronts quickly though, but also to make a carrier harder to detect and target. By staying in constant motion, an aircraft
carrier is much harder to neutralize than an airfield, but can be just as big a threat. America has a long history of forward-deploying
its carriers around the world, and thus it’s no surprise that speed was a big priority
for the US Navy, with the Ford Class displacing a whopping 100,000 tons and still reaching
speeds in excess of 35 mph (56 kph). By comparison, the Type-001A is a lithe 70,000
tons and travels at 36 mph (57 kph). Slight, but the advantage would seemingly
still go to the Type-001A- except for the reason why though it is 30% lighter, the Type-001A
is only 1 mph faster than the Ford Class: nuclear power. The US Nimitz class, which the Ford replaces,
carries dual nuclear reactors capable of generating a combined 450MWs of electricity, but the
40 year old design is incapable of generating enough power for modern systems. The Ford Class was thus designed not only
to operate modern power-hungry electronics, but with a projected service life of 90 years,
its nuclear reactors can generate up to 700MW- over 25% more than its Nimitz predecessors
and leaving plenty of juice for future weapons and upgrades. Though the Chinese Type-001A is faster by
a hair, the Americans once more have the advantage courtesy of the Ford’s dual A1B nuclear reactors,
and all the modern and future capabilities a Ford carrier can thus bring to bear. Crew, speed, and power are all important for
any vessel- but what about the actual weapons both ships bring to bear against one another? Unlike any other combat vessel, an aircraft
carrier is unique in that it is equipped with few if any long-range strike capabilities
in the form of guns or missiles. Instead they rely completely on the aircraft
they launch for both offense and defense. Because our two carriers would never physically
see each other in our hypothetical combat, we instead must look at the combat aircraft
each brings to bear. China’s Type-001A’s exact air wing compliment
remains unconfirmed as the ship has only now entered sea trials and is yet years away from
being operational. Analysts however have estimated that the Type-001A
will carry either 4 more fixed-wing aircraft, or 8 helicopters than the Type-001, bringing
its air wing to 24-28 fighters and 17-25 helicopters. Once operational, the Type-001A will be equipped
with the J-15 “Flying Shark” fighter jet. Denounced by Russia as a copy of their Sukhoi
Su-33 fighter, the J-15 is indubitably heavily influenced by the Su-33, but features indigenously-developed
technologies, an important goal for Chinese military aviation. However, by China’s own admission the J-15’s
engines are not as powerful as either the Russian Su-33’s or the American Superhornet’s,
requiring the Type-001A carrier to be equipped with a ramp-like ski jump to help get the
plane into the air. Its weaker engines and need for a ski-ramp
for takeoff assist means that the J-15 cannot take off with as much fuel or weapons as an
American plane, a critical vulnerability in carrier-on-carrier combat. By comparison, the American Ford class is
predicted to field between 75 and 92 aircraft- potentially tripling its combat power vs the
Chinese Type-001A. More important though is the configuration
of the American air wing vs the Chinese air wing- a Ford Class carrier will be equipped
with stealthy F-35s, EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets, MQ-25 Stingray refueling and
reconnaissance drones, and E-2D Hawkeye airborne early-warning and control aircraft. The addition of electronic attack, airborne
refueling, and early-warning aircraft to the American air wing means that US jets will
be able to fly further for longer, and fire first on radar-jammed and blind Chinese fighters. In the combat calculus of armaments, it is
a no-contest win for the United States, who comes armed with triple the firepower and
more sophisticated fighter and support aircraft. So who would win in a fight between the Chinese
Type-001A and an American Ford Class carrier? The United States brings proven combat veterancy
and decades of experience in both operating and building aircraft carriers. Its new Ford Class carriers are not only based
on a proven design, but will come equipped with the world’s first 5th-generation aircraft
and have plenty of capability to adopt emerging technologies such as energy and railgun weapons. While a brave and very impressive start, the
Chinese Type-001A is still just that: a start based on an obsolete design for a nation that
for decades had no interest in aircraft carriers. Still, some critics argue that the Ford Class
is too ambitious and fields too many new technologies that have never been tested in combat. Should the worst come to pass and an American
Ford carrier ever finds itself in combat versus China’s Type-001A, the victor will almost
certainly be the American ship- but who knows, maybe somewhere deep within the American high-tech
carrier lies a critical vulnerability that may spell doom for America’s flag ships. So, what do you think? Despite the overwhelming advantages, do you
think China’s first aircraft carrier has a chance of going toe-to-toe versus a Ford? Can the J-15 beat America’s stealthy F-35,
or will the super-ambitious, state-of-the-art, but combat unproven F-35 be the Ford’s Achille’s
Heel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries in 2017! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

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  1. We have one of the most feared war machines ever constructed on one corner – the largest ship ever constructed, certainly the most powerful. A floating airport that's home to 70+ fighters, the so-called 'tip of the spear'. Not to mention those that belong in its battle group – the subs, destroyers, & other support ships.

    On the other corner, we have a refurbished hand-me-down.
    Come on now, really?

  2. I think the USA had those kind of analysis, then went to Vietnam and started a war . 7 on going wars till now . Who got the money ?

  3. 35mph??? We were pushing 60mph on the Carl Vinson. These ships need speed to make their own wind for launching ops. Not to evade detection. They operate in cloud cover when possible to avoid sat detection.
    Not a very accurate video.

  4. China is developing faster than US…
    China use wooden boats to attack kmt and troops before 72 years..but now…in span of 72 years… I give china a credit 😎

  5. It's going to take the Chinese decades to learn carrier tactics. The Russians could not make it work so they gave up.

  6. Aircraft carriers today are meant for war against 3rd world militaries. I don't think the U.S will forward deploy its carriers in the event of a war against china. The carries will end up being a missile magnet for the chinese and will be among the first ships to get sunk with it alot of casualties.

  7. Just with the two carriers, the Ford wins. However, any conflict will be near Chinese land-based assets, which can tip the scales considerably, just by volume. The proximity of Japan may offset that potential.

  8. According to bible prophecy
    CHINA is the yellow Menace in the Book of Revelation..A 200 million man ARMY….The Chinese fight an End Time war on Horseback 🐎…CHINA Doesn't Amount To very much …IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T RULE THE WORLD 🌎.

  9. The Chinese are building air, navy and missile bases on pieces of coral in the South China Sea quicker than it can learn how to build and operate an Aircraft Carrier. That's where it's projection model will be more sustainable and attainable. Unless it invades Taiwan, it has no means by which to deny total allied control and naval supremacy of the Western Pacific and secure it's flank. Even then, there is this little tiny US base in Okinawa and a little known place called Hawaii to deal with.
    China is working furiously with nations in the Pacific to bring them under economic and trade influence to leverage the extension of their military power in those areas. UK, Canada, Australia and US and ASEAN nations need to start working together and build a big base in the vicinity. Singapore could be expanded, Subic and Clarke reopened as a multi-national venture or alternatively look to build something new in Malaysian Borneo or New Guinea.

  10. Almost 80% of American are living from pay check to pay check, and the government are plundering the nation's wealth subverting and killing humanity around the world, it's a matter of time group karma catching up with them.

  11. There are TWO "T"s in the word "IMPORTANT". USE BOTH OF THEM!!!
    It's not Im-Por-Unt, It's Im-PorT-unt. Distracting and annoying, stop it!!!

  12. America plays divide and rule among ASEAN countries, I'm not Chinese but I am Asian and I support China! Every step is a step forward, keep going!!!

  13. 5:25 700MW is 55% more than 450MW. Why then is it stated as "over 25% more" , which is true but misleading? derp

  14. We should just let Japan 🇯🇵 rebuild their army and navy so us, the American tax payer can stop footing the bill. . And all of Europe also

  15. Nope……China in the background is pouring more money into "anti-carrier" technology than they are fostering their own carriers……they are really bad sailors, anyway…… can you say "silkworm"…LOL 🙂

  16. I really love your channel but I think that you should use more objective and impartial narratives. E.g. "…a much more aggressive China.."

    Some may argue that China is playing a defensive roles as opposed to an aggressive one.

    I've notice this in another video where you compared the use navy to another's.

    I'm not here to argue, but I'd rather focus on facts than opinions. 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Looking forward to more great videos 🙌

  17. Amazing that the Chinese expansion into their home waters is described as aggressive, No such epithet is applied to the USN sending carrier groups around the world.

  18. Even if the chinese made the best carrier ever, the americans have 11 supercarriers in service. That is just too much power projection

  19. The Spanish Armada thought it was far modern than the British, until the Spanish tried to invade England. It was so bad of a defeat for Spain that Spain had to sail around England instead of the English Channel, making the British the Masters of the sea for over 200 years.

  20. I find it funny that you're using numbers released to the general public that aren't even close to accurate. I raced a destroyer while stationed on cvn 77 and it does more than 35. Also the fact that you think the nuclear plant production is accurate as the nuclear program is on of the most guarded. Theres other errors like the fact that the airwaing was the only section of crew in the discussion. But hey you tried

  21. is it just me or is the infographics show extremely biased? not just this video but every video it is biased towards america.

  22. It's funny. On the voting pole, most people think Ford carrier is the most powerful. But it doesn't even have working catapults. It's basically a floating barge.

  23. An older Forrestal class or a modernized Midway is still more than a match to the Type-001A… which is a partially upgraded Admiral Kuznetzov class. It is equal to the INS Vikrant than any of the USN carriers post OG Midway class.

  24. China's carrier is an affordable carrier designed to be quickly mass produced in civilian shipyards without the need for difficult to produce parts like nuclear reactors. China has plans for an ambitious military build up in the future that will keep the region safe from unwanted foreign navies.

  25. I think a lot depends on where the fight takes place. I think whoever has land based long range bombers with anti-ship missiles will also fit into the balance of power during a sea battle. Second with be the defensive capability of the surrounding task force of each carrier. And lastly, Submarines are also need to be figured into the equation.

  26. Yes, US IS MOTE POWERFUL NOW THAN CHINA. However, things changes by time. Let's see what will happen 20 years later. No country will be number 1 forever.

  27. HISTORICALLY, china has longer experience of being number 1 than US. THE US SHOULD ASK CHINA FOR SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO BEHAVE as A NUMBER 1.

  28. Hard to say, missiles and drones being what they are today. AI and robotics can make big and fancy have a lot of liability. Just sayin'.

  29. USN 10 active CVN carriers + 10 active LHA (+3 reserve) + 27 LHX* … rest of the world = no way near 50 amphibious/flattops 🙂

  30. It’s like comparing a 2020 F550 flat bed Deisel 4×4 to a shopping cart with flat spotted wheels and a piece of plywood tie wrapped to the kiddy seat.

  31. I don't see how speed really matters in regards to difficulty of hitting the ship. This isn't 1940's technology w/o smart bombs and guided missiles. I suspect that either carrier could take out the other and both would be vulnerable to missiles from smaller craft and land base. What would be more important for defense than speed would be anti-missile defenses, I suspect that the Ford carrier has a better computer controlled screen to shoot down enemy missiles but none of this is covered in the video.

  32. The reason China needs the ramp and can not launch larger Hawkeye type planes is it has no catapult launch system.
    That is bad research.

  33. What so great about US carrier?? Dont discriminate the Chinese..without the Chinese, there wont be any gun powder…there wont be any soccer game…Dont always think US is the greatest of all!!!!!

  34. Doesnt sound like this narrator is a big fan of America. "Unfortunately China is still overwhelmingly outclassed by the American Navy." I don't find that to be an "unfortunate" fact.

  35. If you put them up against each other 1-1, its an obvious US victory. The US carriers are the largest in the world. If you put their strike groups with them, it might be slightly less to the US advantage, as china has newer Destroyers and Frigates.

  36. Anyone else saw that video of that U.S aircraft carrier drifting on youtube? There is no way those things can only go 35mph.

  37. China is ambitious, clever and intelligent, but America has to many advantages in design, training and practice. The Ford class will dominate.

  38. China has only 1 Aircraft carrier that too it has built recently and America is already feeling the heat….
    .
    Imagine if China had 10 carriers equal ro the US….
    Americans would have been dead without fighting 😅😅

  39. You missed the most important aspect of an aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers never, ever operate alone and they are at the core of a carrier task force including other ships. For this reason aircraft carriers don't need heavy defence for they have destroyers, submarines and cruisers forming several overlapping hard to assail defensive fields. When AEGIS is thrown in, the entire fleet of ships scattered over a vast area can fight like one giant super ship with every conceivable firepower instantly at its disposal. AEGIS make the fleet greater than the total sum of its parts exponentially.

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