No match for a U.S. Hornet: “China’s Navy J-15 more a flopping fish than a flying shark” Chinese media say

Sep 30 2013 - 43 Comments

Even if some analysts compared it to the F/A-18 Hornet, the Shenyang J-15 “Flying Shark” may not be the powerful and deadly threat to the U.S. Navy Air Power in the Pacific.

Indeed, in spite of the recent claims that it had succesfully achieved full-load take off and landing on the Liaoning aircraft carrier, the China’s embarked plane may not be able to operate from Beijing’s first supercarrier.

According to the Sina Military Network, that has (weirdly) criticized the Flying Shark calling it a “flopping fish”, the recent tests with heavy weapons have limited the attack range of the J-15 to a distance of 120 kilometers from the carrier: whilst it is said to be capable to carry 12 tons of weapons, when the aircraft is fully loaded with fuel, it can’t carry more than 2 tons of missiles and munitions, meaning that only two YJ-83K anti-ship missiles and two PL-8 air-to-air missiles could be carried (in an anti-ship configuration).

People’s Liberation Army Navy’s next generation carriers will have electromagnetic catapults that will safely launch heavy J-15s. The problem is the ski-jump ramp of the current, only PLA Navy aircraft carrier, that makes take off of aircraft exceeding 26 tons of total weight extremely difficult unless you have a more powerful aircraft, as the Mig-29K.

That’s why a lone Soviet aircraft carrier with ski-jump is no match for a U.S. flattop. And a J-15 carrying only handful of medium and short range air-to-air missiles in air defense configuration to be able to launch for Liaoning would probably be no match for U.S. carrier-based F/A-18E/F Hornet.

Image credit: www.news.cn

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  • http://twitter.com/WinstonCN WinstonCN

    Don’t worry. Obama will cut the US navy to the point where it is a match for the PLA navy.

    • LOLMan

      lol, what? Doesnt congress set the budget? Doesn’t the Navy decide where their money goes? Doesnt the Navy determine how many carriers it needs? Did the GOP want to cut Government spending? What is the highest cost to the US Tax payers? Military, so wouldnt congress find ways to reduce the Navy budget? Presidents dont pass budgets, they approve them.

      • elportonative77

        Medicare and Medicaid take up more of the United States federal budget.

        1) Medicare/Medicaid
        2) Social Security
        3) National Defense

      • OG_Locc

        “What is the highest cost to the US Tax payers? Military,”

        Where do you hear stuff like this? It’s completely incorrect, and absurdly easy to look up – but you are still confident enough in it to boldly proclaim it as fact?

        Have you ever considered forming your opinions based on facts?

        • http://twitter.com/WinstonCN WinstonCN

          I doubt he has. Liberals are not interested in facts.

          • karl

            *the majority

            I am liberal, but like facts.

            • Stoney

              You can’t be a liberal and like facts. If you liked facts, and lived by them, no sane person could be a liberal.

      • John

        They navy does not decide. The military puts forth a budget of how much they need, it is sent to congress and then they decide to pass it or not to allow the funds, but even if it passes congress, it has to be finalized by the president. If he says no, then it is sent back to congress with his proposed changes. Then they vote again or try to pass by the majority to over ride him. Either way the president does have his say and its a very big one.
        You need president approval, which is essentially passing……

    • Ryan Moxom

      Facts and reality don’t matter to narrow minded ideologues. Nevermind that the most recent cuts in military spending were enacted because a small minority of House GOP radicals have refused to compromise on anything. It’s just another “wtf” moment when people like Winston can straight facedly say Obama is responsible for things like this. Even the libertarian minded GOP members are okay with small cuts to defense.

      • OG_Locc

        I love the way you blame the sequester cuts on “narrow minded ideologues.” Good to see somebody out there still watches MSNBC.

        • Ryan Moxom

          What else would you call roughly ~35 House GOP members who are about to shut down the government because they refuse to compromise ? Without these tea party wacko birds we would have had a grand compromise and no need for sequester.

          • OG_Locc

            I know this is hard for an MSNBC watcher – but who proposed the sequester cuts? Who signed the Budget Control Act into law?

            Pro tip: It wasn’t 35 House GOP members.

            • Ben

              No I don’t think the Senate or The House “signs” bills into law. What they do is vote to on bills. Only after its PASSED does the President sign it. So you’re absolutely right those 35 GOP members didn’t sign it but they sure did vote on it. Here are the voting numbers

              Party Yay Nay
              Dems 95 95
              GOP 174 66

              It very very well could be that those 35 House GOP were part of the 66 MINORITY of the GOP that voted nay on it.

          • John

            Ryan, are you seriously that brain washed? the GOP passed budgets and sent them to the senate and reid out right said he wouldnt put them to a vote and obama said he would not compromise on anything..yeah its republican fault isnt it… flipping moron dude.

        • http://twitter.com/WinstonCN WinstonCN

          Ryan must work for Ed Schultz.

      • John

        Small cuts but not gutting. Obama and minions are trying to gut the military in order to fun more social programs for the lazy, and for his reckless spending habits. The man has spent more in 4 years than bush did in 8. yet every moronic liberal ignores that and still tries to blame republicans for fiscally irresponsibility..

        • Ronnie Fairley

          Okay first unless you been in the military don’t make assumption about or commander and chief. Reason I never voted republican because they are quick to start wars we have no place in being, ask for body armor and told we dont want to spend the money, increase our military by almost double (marine corp) yet don’t create taxes to pay for the things we need. So actually republicans spend more than they take in. Read facts or go off experience but you my friend have neither. And by the way if you was in the military obamacare is just a tricare on a national level fucking right a support. Republicans complain about illegal immigrants but their businesses is the ones that keep hiring them when people or not the problem, businesses or or giving tax cuts to businesses that don’t hire or go over seas that takes out of the fighting men mouth. Where is Ernesto Che Guevara when you need him….

    • Anthony J. Mitchell

      Oh look, another person oblivious to how government works.

      • John

        Oh look another person who claims that someone else doesnt know how the government work yet doesnt know either…

    • Peaceforall1998

      America is broke, need the money for people not unwanted wars for the 1%.

    • Ben

      Even with Obama defense freeze, our defense spending has been the highest its ever been since WW2. Still more the next 10 nations combined so I think we’re fine. Those who think America is anywhere close to losing its military dominance is delusional.

      • sferrin

        It’s called “inflation”. Go look at a more relevant indicator – percentage of GNP- and get back to me.

        • Ben

          2003 3.7%; 2004 3.9%; 2005 4%; 2006 4%; 2007 4%; 2008 4.4%; 2009 4.8%; 2010 4.8%; 2011 4.7%; 2012 4.4%

          There numbers are from the world bank. You can easily check for yourself if you want.

      • http://twitter.com/WinstonCN WinstonCN

        you’re free to be delusional.

  • nimblebooks

    Refreshing. Next we’ll see the Chinese press complaining about the F-35.

    • Bill

      They don’t need to. There are more than enough Americans complaining about the POS F35 and the possible cancellation of the program.

      • John

        I can only hope that plane is cancelled. With the cost at this point we could have kept building F-22′s for cheaper and even use the planned navy version that was cancelled.

  • phuzz

    Interesting to see Chinese media dissing one of their own aircraft. It makes me wonder what political shenanigans are going on behind this.
    That said, the weapons load that can be usefully carried is always a problem for carrier based aircraft, and the big reason why there were calls for the UK to drop the F35-B, and go with the F35-C instead.

    • Anthony J. Mitchell

      Probably similar shenanigans that gave rise to the F-22 raptor over the superior F-23 black widow during the joint strike fighter competition.

      • John

        Pretty much, the F-23 was a superior plane in about every aspect but politics and the brass chose to go with the F-22. The F-22 is a great airplane, but it was not better than the F-23 and ironically the F-23 had pretty much no radar signature at all while the F-22 does have a very small one.

        • michael

          yeah, but the F22 costs exploided the budget. The F23 would have cost more.

          It was the right decision, especially because there are just 187 F22s

    • mzungu

      Drumming up and justifying a CATOBAR carrier, and new planes to go with it.

    • ReadandShare

      Wrong. That’s actually a Taiwanese media source!

  • displacedjim

    Am I the only one highly skeptical of the idea that the first indiginous Chinese carrier will have electromagnetic catapults (whenever it finally gets built)? Since it will certanly be a conventionally-powered ship, how will it generate the power needed?

  • big john ok

    To play devils advocate here but I am sure the Chinese know about air to air refueling.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    If the numbers are really this stark then it just goes to show the nature of the decision to go forward with the combination of Kuznetzev class with the J-15. I’ve met some Russians who said that the J-15 was an excellent copy of the Su-33, and I’ve also heard from other’s that the copy was less than perfect and some structural members were having issues. If so we should see some real underperformance come of the J-15 on CV’s. Has anyone seen any references to any other fixed wing aircraft China is getting ready to operate off flatops?

  • ask2wice

    Looks like either Fox News or The Aviationist got something wrong. The photos/aircraft designations don’t match up in these two stories (the one above from The Aviationist and the one linked below from Fox News – Fox links this story and a quote in it from David Cenciotti in their story):

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/10/01/chinese-junk-latest-fighter-plane-from-people-army-ticketed-for-export/

    So which is which? Thanks for the clarification!

    • cencio4

      FN has asked to comment on the J-31. For some reason they put the J-15 (and the F-117?) in the equation…..

      • ask2wice

        I figured Fox got it wrong! Unlike you (and probably most of your readers), their reporters are not aviation specialists. Unless someone is, aircraft recognition and facts associated with them can be confusing. Perhaps you can re-contact them and give them some help in correcting their story!

        • John

          Right and MSNBC,CNN reporters are?? Oh wait, they hate the military.

  • crimson

    the new us carrier use those electromagnetic catapults. But I doubt that the chinese carrier can compete, because they have barely experience…

    And to be honest, I also doubt that china/russia and USA/Europe will have any military conflict in the next 20 / 30 years…

  • Ronnie Fairley

    The J-15 is a knock off of the SU-30/33. IT lacks the proper engines to produce a great thrust to weight ratio while maintaining a good fuel economy of about 2.5 gallons per minute. The should license some aircraft from the Russians.

  • napper

    Only unschooled, ignorant jingoists would claim China’s J-15 “no match for a U.S. Hornet.” The Pentagon has known since 1992 that Sukhoi Flankers can smear the F-15s (the so-called “high-end” in the teen-series) in close-range combat. Over the years the Su-27 has undergone several upgrades inside and outside of Russia. By putting an article with such a title on its website, the Aviationist has lost credibility.