The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) aircraft carrier Liaoning Type 001 has conduct flight operations with its onboard Shenyang J-15 fighter carrier strike group including live firing and refueling training exercises. The Shenyang J-15 is the main fighter aircraft uses onboard the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning. Liaoning (Liáoníng Jiàn) is a Chinese Type 001 aircraft carrier. The first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force, she was originally classified as a training ship, intended to allow the Navy to experiment, train and gain familiarity with aircraft carrier operations.
The Shenyang J-15 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-X2, also known as Flying Shark), is a 4th generation, twin-jet, all-weather, carrier-based fighter aircraft in development by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and the 601 Institute for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy’s aircraft carriers. It is developed from J-11B as well as from studying of a prototype of Su-33. An unfinished Su-33 prototype, the T-10K-3, was acquired from Ukraine in 2001 and is said to have been studied extensively, reverse engineered, with development on the J-15 beginning immediately afterward. While the J-15 appears to be based on the Su-33, the fighter features Chinese technologies as well as avionics from the J-11B program.
The Shenyang J-15 J-15 could operate from the carrier equipped with two YJ-83K anti-ship missiles, two short-range PL-8 air-to-air missiles, and four 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs, but a weapons load exceeding 12 tons would not get it off the ski jump, prohibiting it from carrying heavier munitions such as PL-12 medium-range air-to-air missiles, making it an unlikely match if hostile fighters are encountered when flying strike missions; furthermore, it can only carry two tons of weapons while fully fueled, limiting it to no more than two YJ-83Ks and two PL-8s. It is powered by two Shenyang WS-10A engines. It is capable of speeds of up to 2,410 kilometers per hour and fly for distances of up to 3.500.
The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning would carry 36 aircraft including 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters, six Changhe Z-18F anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, four Changhe Z-18J airborne early warning helicopters and two Harbin Z-9C rescue helicopters. The flight deck is able to carry about 50 warplanes, including helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Observers have noted the installation of Type 348 active electronically scanned array (AESA) Radar (four arrays) and Sea Eagle radar. The air defence system consists of the Type 1130 CIWS and the HQ-10 missile system. The anti-ship missile tubes would not be used, freeing up internal space for hangar or storage use.