BEIJING, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – A Chinese Shenyang J-15 fighter jet has successfully carried out the first arrested deck landing on the country’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, Xinhua reported on Sunday citing naval sources.
This achievement marks a crucial step in the development of China’s ambitious aircraft carrier program as landing tests of carrier-based aircraft are the most challenging to perform.
“Capabilities of the carrier platform and the J-15 have been tested, meeting all requirements and achieving good compatibility,” the Chinese Navy said.
The J-15s had made many landings on land-based mock-ups of Liaoning’s deck and performed a number of touch-and-go take-offs and landings during sea trials last month before attempting an arrested landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier, according to Chinese naval experts.
Since the Liaoning entered service in September 2012, its crew has completed more than 100 training and testing programs.
The Admiral Kuznetsov class Varyag aircraft carrier was 70% complete when China bought it from Ukraine for $20 million in 1998. Before being sold, the ship was disarmed and its engines were removed.
China launched a complete overhaul of the ship in 2002, also developing carrier-based aircraft. Beijing has repeatedly insisted the carrier poses no threat to its neighbors and that it will primarily be used for training and research.
The 1,000-ft vessel is designed to carry 26 aircraft and 24 helicopters.