China is now capable of deploying fighter jets on its first aircraft carrier after successful landing exercises on it, a senior navy officer has said.
Chinese pilots successfully landed and took off the J-15 jet from ‘The Liaoning’ aircraft carrier yesterday.
Pilots have mastered key skills to ensure the success of the take-off and the landing, especially under unfavourable conditions such as poor visibility and unstable airflow, Vice-Admiral Zhang Yongyi, a deputy commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, has said.
“It’s like ‘dancing on a knifepoint’ as the aircraft have to land on a very limited space,” Zhang was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency as saying, while commenting on the successful flight landing recently conducted on ‘The Liaoning’
The aircraft must land precisely over a very short and narrow runway on the carrier at a speed of several hundred kmph, Zhang said, after the J-15 fighter succeeded in the landing tests.
“We have done all these test flights from the very beginning, and finally we mastered the key skills for the landing of carrier-borne aircraft,” Zhang, who is also the commander-in-chief in charge of the tests and training programme of the flight landing, said.
Currently, the Chinese pilots have found out the right ways to conduct the landing and they have consolidated their skills, according to the Navy officer, who himself is a meritorious pilot of the Chinese naval air force.
Zhang said the carrier-borne aircraft and special equipment for the landing flight have gone through strict tests, and fighter jets can be deployed on the aircraft carrier.