The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy of China has successfully completed first landing trials of Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark fighter aircraft onboard its aircraft carrier, Liaoning (Varyag) as part of an exercise.
During the landing trials, the J-15 aircraft conducted landing missions from the 300m-long destroyer, validating its capability while meeting all navy requirements with good compatibility.
More than 100 training and test programmes have been completed by the crew since the aircraft carrier entered PLA Navy service following completion of a refit programme.
Commenting on the trial, PLA Navy deputy commander vice-admiral Zhang Yongyi was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying: "We have done all these test flights from the very beginning, and finally we mastered the key skills for the landing of carrier-borne aircraft."
Claimed to be a reverse engineered version of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker naval fighter, the Shenyang J-15 is the country’s first multi-purpose carrier-borne fighter jet.
In addition to conducting a certain level of operations at sea, the Liaoning destroyer is set to be deployed to the disputed waters of South China Sea amid rising maritime tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Expected to be used as a research and training platform, J-10 carrier based aircraft, Kamov Z-8/Ka-31 AEW helicopters and Ka-27 ASW helicopters will operate from the carrier, as well as the J-15.
Armed with precision-guided bombs, the J-15 fighter jet can be equipped with anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.