China lands first jet on its aircraft carrier

Published Nov 25, 2012 07:40am

In this undated photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, made available on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, a carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet takes off from China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.   — Photo by AP

BEIJING: China has successfully landed a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, which entered service two months ago, the country's official news agency confirmed Sunday.         

The Liaoning aircraft carrier underscores China’s ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, but it is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time.

Xinhua News Agency said the landing exercise marked the debut of the J-15 fighter jet, a carrier-based fighter-bomber developed by China from Russia’s Sukhoi Su-33.

The Defense Ministry’s website carried photos of the jet taking off from and landing on the carrier.

Citing unnamed naval sources, Xinhua said that the carrier platform and J-15 capabilities met all requirements and achieved “good  compatibility.”

Xinhua says the J-15 is able to carry anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and precision-guided bombs.

Since China’s Liaoning ship formally entered into service on Sept. 25, its crew members have completed more than 100 training and test programs, Xinhua said.

China bought the former Soviet navy’s unfinished carrier from Ukraine in 1998 and spent years refurbishing it.

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