Key Words: J-15 fighter jet; fighter; aircraft carrier; the Liaoning; military
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The successful landing of the J-15 fighter jet on the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, marks four technological breakthroughs, senior colonel Li Li, deputy director of the Institute of Military Science under the National University of Defense Technology, said in an article recently published in Study Times.
Li noted that less than two months after the Liaoning entered service, China's first independently developed carrier-based aircraft, the J-15, successfully took off from and landed on the aircraft carrier. The country broke through perhaps the most difficult technological barrier in the field of aircraft carrier.
The J-15's successful landing marks four technological breakthroughs.
First, China is now able to develop, design, and manufacture carrier-based aircraft, while few other countries have the same ability. Although the J-15 is just the first-generation carrier-based aircraft, it has great research and experimental value. China has drawn on other countries' experience in developing carrier-based aircraft, but independent innovation has undoubtedly played a vital role in the research and development of the J-15.
Second, China has succeeded in independently developing a complex landing system. A successful landing test requires good coordination among the aircraft carrier, landing system, command system, and carrier-based aircraft, which is a complicated process. The successful landing of the J-15 would be impossible without a series of supporting facilities.
Third, China has made breakthrough in the use of special materials in producing carrier-based aircraft so they can adapt to various maritime environments. Aircraft carriers are strategic weapons patrolling the blue water, so carrier-based aircraft should be able to resist damp, salt fog corrosion, and mildew.
Fourth, China has achieved significant progress in coordination between the aircraft carrier and carrier-based fighter jet. Carrier-based aircraft are crucial to the combat capability of an aircraft carrier.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, aircraft carriers have not only maintained its important role in conventional combat, but also made remarkable contributions in non-military fields, particularly in curbing crises, combating terrorism and piracy at sea, and ensuring the safety of maritime transportation.
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