Three J-15 Fighters Can Take Off Simultaneously from Liaoning Carrier

During its three-week exercise in open seas, Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier was able to launch three Shenyang J-15 fighters simultaneously from its flight deck according to an article written by Greg Waldron for Flightglobal, a UK-based news and information website related to the aviation and aerospace industries.

Waldron said the Liaoning has a total of three jet blast deflectors. While two parallel deflectors are located immediately forward of the island superstructure, a third is located closer to the stern of the ship. With all three positions fully operational, the aircraft carrier is capable of launching three J-15s from its forward ramp at the same time.

The ability of Liaoning's crew to disassemble and reassemble J-15 jet engines aboard the carrier was tested as well during the three-week test mission. "Jet engine maintenance is a crucial element of maintaining an effective carrier air wing," said Waldron. "US aircraft carriers have extensive facilities for engine maintenance."

However, Waldron pointed out that the PLA Navy Air Force is unable to transfer new fighter engines to the Liaoning through a carrier onboard delivery aircraft like the Northrop Grumman C-2 operated by the US Navy. The Chinese defense ministry did not mention whether Liaoning was able to launch or recover fighters at night. [via]

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