The J-15 Flying Shark is one of the projects China’s military industry uses to prove they are on their way to become a global player. But even back at home, notes defense analyst Wendell Minnick, the plane is criticized and described a flopping fish, he writes in the Defense News.
In an unusual departure for mainland Chinese-language media, the Beijing-based Sina Military Network (SMN) criticized the capabilities of the carrier-borne J-15 Flying Shark as nothing more than a “flopping fish.”
On Sept. 22, the state-controlled China Daily Times reported the new aircraft carrier Liaoning had just finished a three-month voyage and conducted over 100 sorties of “various aircraft,” of which the J-15 “took off and landed on the carrier with maximum load and various weapons.” This report was also carried on the official Liberation Army Daily.
Contradicting any report by official military or government media is unusual in China given state control of the media.
What sounded more like a rant than analysis, SMN, on Sept. 23, reported the new J-15 was incapable of flying from the Liaoning with heavy weapons, “effectively crippling its attack range and firepower.”
The fighter can take off and land on the carrier with two YJ-83K anti-ship missiles, two PL-8 air-to-air missiles, and four 500-kilogram bombs. But a weapons “load exceeding 12 tons will not get it off the carrier’s ski jump ramp.” This might prohibit it from carrying heavier munitions such as PL-12 medium-range air-to-air missiles.
Wendell Minnick is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.
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