China lands 1st fighter on its aircraft carrier, enhancing combat readiness
BEIJING (AFP) - China has conducted the first landing of a fighter jet on its new aircraft carrier in a move that extends Beijing’s ability to project its growing military might in territorial disputes.
The Chinese-made J-15 made the successful landing on the Liaoning, a former Soviet carrier, during recent exercises, the defence ministry said in a report Sunday on the flight tests.
The Liaoning went into service in September in a symbolic milestone for China’s growing military muscle that comes at a time when Beijing is increasingly embroiled in a series of territorial disputes with its neighbours.
“The successful landing... has always been seen as a symbol of the operating combat capability for an aircraft carrier,” Zhang Junshe, a vice director at the military’s Naval Affairs Research Institute, told state television.