Tag Archives: J-15 fighter

China’s Navy Sails Its New Aircraft Carrier

It is a symbolic departure as much as anything, but China’s first aircraft carrier has sailed from its berth in Dalian for the first time formally under the PLA-Navy’s command. The vessel, a converted half-built Soviet-era carrier, the Varyag, was handed over to the Navy and renamed the Liaoning on September 25. Xinhua reports it slipped out of port on Friday evening.

Xinhua also reports that new pictures show a J-15 carrier-based fighter aircraft practicing take-off and landing on the craft, though the one that Xinhua publishes with its report was taken in May during another sea trial. We assume from this that the purpose of this voyage would be to start the serious business of training carrier pilots in real conditions.


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Picture Of China’s First Aircraft Carrier At Sea

China's first aircraft carrier, the Varyag, in the Yellow Sea, December 8, 2011

The satellite picture above is the first reported sighting at sea of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Varyag. It was taken by a U.S. imaging company, Digital Globe, on December 8, and shows the vessel in the Yellow Sea some 100 kilometers south-southeast of Dalian, the port where the converted former Soviet carrier has been refitted. The carrier sailed from Dalian on November 29 to undertake its second sea trials. We have photos of it leaving port and of the first test flight of the carrier-based J-15 fighter in PLA-Navy colors that is being developed to equip China’s planned carrier fleet here.


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Pictures Of China’s First Aircraft Carrier Leaving For Its Second Sea Trial

These two pictures of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Varyag, were taken on November 29th as the vessel was leaving its berth in Dalian for its second sea trials.

The first sea trials took place in August. There are plenty of pictures of the ship’s return here.

Meanwhile, state media has published what is says are pictures of the test flight of a carrier-based J-15 fighter, though the photograph is undated. (Similar pictures of a J-15 in PLA-Navy colours were doing the rounds in April.) China has produced three prototypes of the aircraft. There has been speculation that a landing and takeoff from the carrier may have been attempted during the second sea trial but it is more likely that any such exercise would have involved helicopters in the first instance.

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