Aviation News

November 27, 2012

Chinese Jet Performs First Successful Aircraft Carrier Landings and Takeoffs

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Written by: BNO News
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A carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet on China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. (Photo by Xinhua News Agency)

A Chinese fighter jet recently carried out the first successful landing and takeoff on the country’s first aircraft carrier, defense officials and state-run media announced on Sunday. The flight also marked the public debut of the China-built Shenyang J-15 fighter jet.

Photos and video released by state-run television showed the aircraft, which has capabilities that are comparable to the U.S.-built F/A-18, as it took off and landed on the aircraft carrier. It was not clear when or where the landing took place, but defense officials said it was part of recent exercises.

The aircraft carrier, known as Liaoning, completed its maiden sea trial in August 2011 but advanced cable landing technology was not installed until recently. Liaoning is a former Soviet aircraft carrier which has been completely refitted for its new role as a platform for research and pilot naval training at the Dalian shipyard in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

The Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier was 70 percent complete when China bought it from Ukraine for $20 million in 1998. China started an overhaul of the vessel in 2005, and the 1,000 foot (305 meter)-long vessel is now capable of carrying up to 26 aircraft and 24 helicopters.

While the introduction of the aircraft carrier comes amid escalating territorial disputes with neighbors, China previously stressed the carrier is intended solely for scientific research, experiments and training. There are currently a total of 21 active-service aircraft carriers worldwide, and China was the only permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which was not in possession of one.

In a sad afterword, Luo Yang, general manager of the Shenyang Aircraft Corp who was responsible for development of the J-15, died of a heart attack just hours after the successful flight. He was 51.

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  • some people think that this aircraft carrier is testbed only. the real deal is the one made by themselves

  • Eric

    It sure looks like a Russian Mig landing on a obsolete Russian Carrier, who wants to bet a Russian pilot was at the controls. Now that’s innovation!!!

  • RH

    Big whoop! It took U.S. forces 10 years or more, to utilize a “carrier strike force” tactics etc. There is a lot more to landing on a carrier that is stopped, in calm weather in the daylight. Try landing on one in combat conditions, in the dark, during a rainstorm with the deck pitching up and down a few feet.

    • JoelWhite

      Yes but the Chinese have recently completed just about every technological advance in about half the time the rest of the world has taken. Take their space programme for example, in the last 10 years they’ve completed what it took the US 40 years to do. Remember China in the 90s? It was about 30 years behind. Within 10 years it should match the US on a technological level and should easily have a superior military, especially since their navy should turn blue-water by then. It’s quite a feat.