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PLA Navy pilots complete night carrier landings

By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-05-25 10:00

The carrier-borne fighter jet force of the People's Liberation Army Navy has made a huge leap toward gaining full combat capability, as its pilots have fulfilled night landings on the CNS Liaoning aircraft carrier.

The navy released video footage Thursday night showing J-15 fighter jets taking off and landing on the Liaoning, saying this is a major breakthrough in the carrier force's development. It did not elaborate.

Night landing on a carrier is much more difficult than landing during the day, because it challenges a pilot's skills and experience in addition to their psychological capability, experts explained, noting a carrier-borne fighter jet pilot must be able to carry out night landings before he or she gains around-the-clock operational certification.

Chinese pilots made their first day landing operations on a carrier in November 2012 on the Liaoning, currently the navy's sole carrier, which went into service in September that year.

Presently, dozens of J-15 pilots have become qualified to operate aboard the carrier in daytime, according to the navy.

A screen capture shows a J-15 fighter jet taking off from Liaoning aircraft carrier.
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