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J-15 Fighter takes off from new China's aircraft carrier Shandong.

| 2020

This week, a J-15 fighter jet took off from the Type 002 aircraft carrier Shandong (hull number 17), demonstrating the war ship's good condition after its commission to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

J 15 Fighter takes off from new Chinas aircraft carrier Shandong 925 001 Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark on the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (Picture source: PLAN)

The People’s Liberation Army Navy plans to have a fleet of four aircraft carrier strike groups and has stepped up jet pilot training in the last year, opting to train cadets from naval aeronautical universities rather than enlist experienced pilots from the air force.

China spent more than a decade developing the J-15, based on a prototype of a fourth-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engined air superiority fighter – a design that is now more than 30 years old.

The J-15 is the heaviest active carrier-based fighter jet in the world but the sole carrier-based fighter in the Chinese navy.

Wu Qian, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said during a press conference that since the Shandong ship was commissioned, it will continue to carry out experimental work and formation training according to plans. It will foster its formation of systematic combating ability through training.

The spokesman added that China will draft a plan for the construction of aircraft carrier based on its own national security needs and equipment technology development.

Construction of the Type 002 carrier, Shandong (hull number 17) carrier began in November 2013. It was launched in April 2017 at a shipyard in Dalian City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, and conducted its first sea trial in May 2018. The carrier was delivered and commissioned on December 17. The Shandong ship is China's first independently designed, built and outfitted aircraft carrier.

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