Chinese state TV has shown a Chinese-made Shenyang J-15 fighter jet conducting a successful take-off and arrested landing on the Peoples Liberation Army Navy’s recently commissioned aircraft carrier, Liaoning. State media also reported that several J-15 pilots have carried out successful daytime flying operations since the ship entered service last September. The aircraft is a copy of the Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker used by the Russian Navy on their own Kuznetsovclass carrier.While the demonstration of this capability by the usually secretive military will intensify regional unease at China’s rapid naval expansion, it will be at least two years before the Chinese gain enough expertise of carrier operations for the aircraft to become fully operational. In the meantime, the country’s first domestically made aircraft carrier is expected to be launched later this year, ahead of going to sea in 2015.


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