Chinese TV airs first stunning footage of J-15 flight ops on board China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning

Nov 25 2012 - 17 Comments

Although it’s still decades away from achieving a combat capability comparable to that of the U.S. Navy, China’s People Liberation Army Navy is trying to fill the gap quite quickly.

According to Alert5, the first arrested landing on Liaoning took place on Oct. 21 with a J-15 piloted by a China Flight Test Establishment pilot.

On Nov. 20, PLANAF (People Liberation Army Navy Air Force) performed the first successful arrested landing on the Liaoning, China’s first Aircraft Carrier by a made-in-China Shenyang J-15, a multi-role Gen.4.5 plane (based on the Su-33 airframe with Chinese-developed technology).

On Nov. 23, flight ops on the aircraft carrier involved two PLANAF pilots.

Purchased in 1998, the Kutznesov Class 60,000 ton aircraft carrier, previously named “Varyag”, will be used to test qualify Chinese pilots flying with the navalised J-15 as well as to test and validate procedures, equipments for another future operative aircraft carrier (expected no sooner than 2020).

Hence, not only China is currently the only country known to be developing two stealth fighters simultaneously (the J-20 and the J-31) but the successful landings on Liaoning have put its Navy on track for a future role as a maritime power capable to pose a threat to the U.S. naval forces in the Asia-Pacific theatre.


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  • Troy

    My compliments to the PLAN/PLAAF for copying thru espinoge and lack or respecting copyrights of the works of others, right down to copying the flight deck jerseys and cranials colors used by the U.S. Navy. A bootleg copy of a Flanker, two new fighters that have a striking resemblence to the F-22 (I am sure it is just a coincidence), of course the PLAAF/PLAN will become a threat to U.S. security in the Pacific the just shave years off of research/design by copying the works of others.

  • This is not a carrier with a catapult, limits the aircraft weapons load out.

    • Dan

      Larry is absolutely correct. The lack of a catapult
      limits weapons load outs significantly. Further, the Liaoning deck does not accommodate simultaneous launch and recovery of aircraft. Still, the power projection capability a carrier offers, with sufficient battle group support ships, is significant especially in the littorals which is China’s principle concern. Dismissive comments about how their advanced military and space technology is not native is irrelevant. True, their carrier is Russian, the majority of their advanced aircraft and all of their spacecraft are either direct copies Russian versions or derivatives of American technology but that is of little significance. The Chinese are clever in that regard. There is no reason to design a native technology when you can take advantage of proven concepts without the R&D costs. It is unlikely the Chinese will supplant the U.S. as the dominant political and military force in the Pacific anytime in the near future but it is clear they see a prevailing need to offset the current balance of power in the western Pacific which is American centred around the U.S.-Japan Security Agreement and the U.S.-South Korean alliance. Their security dilemma demands the use of whatever means they need to employ to provide adequate force projection capability. While a single carrier presents no real change to the balance of power in East Asia it does speak to an emphasis by the Chinese to bolster their influence in the region.

  • Guest

    Can you help me locate the “stunning” part of this video?

    Thank you.

    • The “stunning” part of the video is that it is the first one clearly showing flight ops on board the Chinese aircraft carrier. It provides much previously unknown details about the Liaoning. Therefore it’s stunning to me.

  • Noha307

    I haven’t seen the device at 2:38 in the video before. I assume it prevents the aircraft from moving while it runs up its engines to have full power on takeoff.

  • ffffast

    The “stunning” part is just behind your computer screen, if you happened to have a brain.

    Now, we can say China has achieved a significant naval milestone in such a short period of time and in such a severe environment dominated by American technical blockade and Western political hostility. It now becomes the third country, after the US and Russia, that possesses its own systematic — from shipbuilding to pilot training, naval technologies. If China could achieve this in such an environment, what can stop it?

    There are about 8 countries that have naval carriers, but none of them will have more political and economic impacts than China to the old World Order that was built to maintain Western dominance.

    A new era starts indeed! This is why it is stunning.

    • I would severely disagree in all politeness with your account of the situation for the following reasons
      – yes the PLA has achieved a significant leap in weapons technology with nuclear submarines, AC busters, Long range bombers, stealth technology and so on but to say their navy is unstoppable is a tad far fetched.
      The PLA not only lacks any sort of trained officers to conduct maritime doctrines aligned with AC assets but they lack much of the technology to fully use an AC just like the US or France…They lack radar, fighter and crew capability the constat for the moment remains they have an empty hull capable of letting land a single fighter at the time the latter being stripped and thus of no strategic use.
      Mainstream media portray this as the first step towards Chinese supremacy of the Eastern seas and the pacific but the fact REMAINS that they can not do anything so as long as they do not have the strategic and technologic advantage.
      On a concluding remark lest not forget military forces are now an asset of political power more than ever and the dependency on both side (USA/China) makes it such that confrontation is simply not likely at all western supremacy remains and although perhaps not for long.

  • Guest


    Your “comment” assures me you don’t know what brain actually is.

  • Vigilance

    I agree with David! I noticed they had two J-15s lined up on the deck
    To all naysayers: people were saying the same arrogant things about the Japanese navy and their Zero fighters until they almost wiped out the US fleet at Pearl Harbour! Fortunately the Pentagon is a bit less arrogant and more vigilant…

    • i don’t know where to begin…. comparing the slow rise of the Chinese navy to Pearl harbor is hardly justified…The US was perfectly aware of the Japanese build up and did fear the zero with its superior maneuverability and very long range … Pearl Harbor happened because of the inability of the US intelligence to connect the dots if only one thing would ve been done it would ve not have happened.

      Moving on to say the Chinese navy is at the same level as the japanese navy all things being equal is not accurate. The Chinese navy is in its early years as a relevant international force and although it is advancing at a significant pace in regards to technology it is not doing so well in regards to human capital. Without years of military heritage their military doctrine remain, from what we see, a little outdated and they lack officers taught in the light of modern warfare tactics. Now i know what i say will most likely bei wrong by 2025 but until then we shouldn’t start trembling at the might of the paper tiger.

  • marc aussure

    I was just wondering (really dont want to spark yet another debate about our brains) but the fact it landed with no payload and them the same for take off really challenges the idea that this air craft carrier is no more than a tool for propaganda…i mean well see in 2020 but right no i dont see this ship being a threat? yay? nay?

  • Alex

    My general impression is that among the quasi-professionals, especially those who did not become a serious adult, horribly underestimate the power of China, in particular, mocking comments, on account of the conclusions, that all this is just an introduction and an indication of where the Chinese Army to be for most 10 years. and .. then it would be better if America is ready and very much less disparaging

    • rmc

      Don’t confuse what real Western experts think and what idiots on the internet think.

  • ffffast

    It is not a tech feat to land a fighter on an AC in general. But the J-15 landing on the Liaoning boat is an exception. It is achieved by a none-white country hated most by the Westerners, achieved it in the worest possible political environment and that country happens to be a victim of the long-established world order. Something big is deemed to happen.

    60-year ago, then Chief of Staff of US air force Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg testified about Korean air war. He claimed Red China became a major air force power “almost overnight” when it was able to borrow the air force technologies it did not have. (

    Very likely history will repeat itself. But this time the pace will be much faster and the impact will be much bigger.(China is already a major economic power and now home-grows its own technologies.)

    This landing indicates that PLAN’s naval aviation branch already possosses some initial combat capacity which some people won’t want to admit. Let’s see why.

    China is a continental country and has been developing its own Anti-Access ability. With or without the help of other carrier-borne accessory aircrafts and patroling vessles, this boat and its J-15s on board alone will help China extend its defense position seaward. From the perspective of any country’s anti-access strategy, it is a big step forward when you have a mobile off-shore airfield protected by land-based missiles, directed by land-based ABEWs, refueled by land-based tankers,… and not to mention helped by the watchful satellites.

    Don’t compare China with the US. They are differnet counties with different cultures, therefore, need different militaries.

  • Anton

    What I find ‘stunning’ here is indeed the lack of respect for the Chinese armed forces. Especially US citizens still see China as a larger version of North Korea and still think they fly with MiG-17’s and MiG-19’s.

    And do you really think Chinese give a cr*p about the accusations about copying military technology?? In global politics there is no place for cry babies.

    Wether you like it or not, they will keep growing as a force to be reckoned with.

    And this was just the first carrier landing so ofcourse there is no payload under the wings. You think the first carrier landing of an F/A-18 was with a full payload???

  • Jesus follower

    The name China comes from Chin dynasty 3000 years ago, it united seven major big nations at that time and became a strong nation. But the new nation is very cruel to people for ruling the annexed nations. After only 16 years, the dynasty collapsed for violent ruling. Don’t forget Jesus’s teaching or Confucious sayings. They are the true peace maker, not advanced killing weapons or fighters. Try to understand each other and kind each other like Jesus. Human being has sin to just bring benefits for self not others. China and USA should be a good friends each other to keep the world peace. Try to let Jesus kingdom fall on the earth! May God bless the two nations!