New practise flights from Liaoning for J-15 fighter
A J-15 fighter jet completed a series of difficult take-off-and-landing tests on the Liaoning aircraft carrier, state media reported yesterday.
The aircraft completed the manoeuvres while heavily loaded on Sunday, Xinhua said. The report did not say how the aircraft was equipped, but added that it was carrying various weapons.
"The tests were complicated. The test items ranged from easy to difficult levels," the Xinhua report said, adding that the practise runs served as a "foundation for the Liaoning to continue with more in-depth training and experiments".
The development of the J-15 is a key step in the PLA Navy's ambitions to build a "blue water" carrier battle group. Two J-15 jets made successful landings on the Liaoning last year.
Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie was quoted on the website of the People's Daily as saying the various J-15 load-outs would aid understanding about the compatibility of the carrier.
Retired People's Liberation Army colonel Yue Gang said real ammunition might be used in the next stage of training.
"More missions can be carried out if the fighter jet can carry more types of weapons on board," he said. "So far, the tests conducted for the aircraft carrier have achieved satisfactory results and the progress is substantial."
Last month, President Xi Jinping observed a training session on the carrier, and called on the military to continue improving its capabilities.
Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, called on the Liaoning's captain and commissar to help build a strong navy.