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Chinese surveillance plane test flight hints at advanced aircraft carrier design

There are stronger signs that China’s next aircraft carrier will be fitted with an advanced type of aircraft launch system, with official confirmation of a test flight of a carrier-based early warning plane. State broadcaster CCTV confirmed in a report on the weekend that the KJ-600, the country’s first domestically developed fixed-wing early warning aircraft, had a test flight in Xian, Shaanxi province, in late January. The KJ-600 is designed to operate from an aircraft carrier but its weight and turboprop engines make it less powerful than a jet, requiring help from a catapult for take-off. China has two aircraft…

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