Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

China lands first jet on aircraft carrier

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:54 PM EST, Mon November 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China's J-15 jet completed its first landing on the aircraft carrier Liaoning, Xinhua says
  • The Liaoning is built in the shell of an abandoned Soviet carrier
  • The Liaoning aircraft carrier will be able to carry 30 J-15 fighter planes, Chinese media reports
  • The U.S. predicts it will be years before China's carrier has a minimal level of combat capability

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

(CNN) -- China announced Sunday that it had landed a fighter jet on the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time, but it may be years before the ship is fully operational.

China's "first generation multi-purpose carrier-borne fighter jet," known as the J-15, successfully completed its first landing on the Liaoning, an aircraft carrier China built using an abandoned Soviet hull, according to China's official news agency Xinhua.

The J-15's capabilities are comparable to the Russian Su-33 jet and the U.S. F-18, Xinhua reported. The Chinese-designed jet can "carry multi-type anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, as well as precision-guided bombs, the report said.

The U.S. military, in its latest annual assessment of China's military capability, predicted "it will still take several additional years for China to achieve a minimal level of combat capability for its aircraft carriers."

The Liaoning will be able to carry 30 J-15 fighter planes and will have a crew of 2,000, according to a People's Daily Online report published when it completed its first sea trials in August 2011.

China bought the shell of the carrier, then called the Varyag, from Ukraine in 1998. Its construction was begun under the Soviet military before the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Pentagon report said another carrier, one made from components made in China, may already be under construction and ready to sail in 2015.

"China likely will build multiple aircraft carriers and associated support ships over the next decade," the U.S. assessment said.

The United States, Britain and Japan launched the first aircraft carriers nearly a century ago. The U.S. Navy, with 11, is the only fleet that currently operates more than one.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
See CNN's complete coverage on China.
updated 12:10 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has hit its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
updated 3:12 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
updated 10:30 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
updated 5:11 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Is Xi Jinping a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
updated 2:31 AM EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
26-year-old Ji Cheng is the first rider from China to compete for competitive cycling's highest honor.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 2:56 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Along a winding Chinese mountain road dotted with inns and restaurants is Jinan Orphanage, a place of refuge and site for troubled parents to dump unwanted children.
updated 4:36 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout invites Isaac Mao, Han Dongfang, and James Miles to discuss the rise of civil society in China and social media's crucial role.
updated 11:34 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
Chen Guangbiao wants rich people to give more to charity and he'll do anything to get their attention, including buying lunch for poor New Yorkers.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Architects are planning to build the future world's tallest towers in China. They're going to come in pretty colors.
updated 7:47 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Anna Coren visits Yulin's annual dog meat festival. Dogs are part of the daily diet here, with an estimated 10,000 dogs killed for the festival alone.
updated 2:38 AM EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
People know little about sex, but are having plenty of it. We take a look at the ramifications of a lack of sex education in China.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
A replica of the Effel Tower in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development located in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province.
What's the Eiffel Tower doing in China? Replica towns of the world's most famous monuments spring up all over China.
ADVERTISEMENT