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

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.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • 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.

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

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

      • “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?

      • 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……

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

          • 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.

      • 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..

        • 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….

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

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

          • That’s monetary inflation, not inflation that’d derived from CPI. Although, I agree that the true inflation is much higher, it’s not what’s used for an inflation percentage.

      • Defense freeze ? How about Sequestration imposed by a Congress unable to come up with a budget. Thats the only freeze taking place. All in all its one way of forcing some belt tightening. Although not the right way.

    • Rolf ! being an Indian I find these statements by US citizens very interesting …

      PLA Navy is comparably less capable than Indian Navy … and even if Obama cuts youn navy down to its 5th … it still will be bigger than Indian Navy … even Russian Navy …

      The first biggest Air force of the world is US Air Force and the second biggest is the US Navy … lol … why are you guys so paranoid about all this ? even if you relax a bit … you will still be number one !

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

      • 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.

  1. 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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

  2. 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?

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

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