As a part of China’s political and economic rise – unwavering effort at modernizing and advancing its military, today China reached yet another milestone. Increasing its ability to project power deeper into “blue-water” maritime territory. Some experts say China is not trying to become an offensive naval power, but wants to secure its energy imports.
According to Minnie Chan, China today confirmed the first successful carrier landings of its J-15 fighter (indigenous carrier-based fighter) aboard its first soon to be operational aircraft carrier the Liaoning.
Shenyang J-15 is a carrier-based fighter military aircraft in development by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), which also involved Shenyang J-31 (F60) – mid-size Fifth-generation jet fighter.
The Liaoning, the Soviet-era carrier, originally christened the Varyag, will no doubt serve as China’s training carrier. Beijing is building 2 more indigenous carriers and planning to operate a total of five aircraft carrier by 2020, as part of its blue water aspirations.
If J-15 will not reach final combat operational role than a naval version of Russian Sukhoi Su-33 are the aircraft most likely to be flown from these carriers. J-15, is believed to be a near clone of Russia’s Su-33 carrier-based fighter
List of countries with operational aircraft carriers:
- United States has a total of 11 in service and three 100,000 tons Nuclear-powered supercarrier is under construction (USS Gerald R. Ford, USS John F. Kennedy and CVN-80).
- India has one in service (28,700 tons – INS Viraat), two under construction (40,000 tons – NS Vikrant and 65,000 tons INS Vishal) and one INS Vikramaditya (44,570 tons Admiral Gorshkov) is being built.
- China has one in service (67,500 tons – Liaoning), two under construction and total of five planned by 2020.
- France has one in service (42,000 tons – Charles de Gaulle)
- Russia has one in service (55,000 tons – Admiral Kuznetsov)
- Spain has one in service (16,700 tons – Principe de Asturias)
- United Kingdom has one in service (22,000 tons – Illustrious) and two 65,600 tons Conventionally-powered carrier is under construction (HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales).
- Thailand has one in service (11,400 tons – Chakri Naruebet)
- Italy has two in service (27,100 tons – Conte di Cavour and 13,850 tons Giuseppe Garibaldi)
- Brazil has one in service (32,800 tons – NAe São Paulo)
“If the report is true, it means our carrier project has walked forward a crucial step as landing tests of carrier-based aircraft are the most challenging and the highest risk job,” Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said. “The success was not achieved within a single night because we have prepared and tested both take-offs and landings for a long while before the Liaoning was commissioned in September.”
[image by Sina.]