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News Link • China

China's Aircraft Carrier Hit A Huge Milestone

•, Robert Johnson
Minnie Chan of the South China Morning Post reports that to demonstrate this unwavering effort, China today confirmed the first successful carrier landings of its J-15 fighter aboard its first aircraft carrier the Liaoning.

The landings are the culmination of a years-long effort at refitting the Soviet-era carrier, originally christened the Varyag, and are perhaps the most difficult technical carrier maneuvers to accomplish.

Testing on land-based, carrier shaped decks, has been going on for months, so this recent achievement is causing a bit of celebration. While not the culmination of China's entry into a functioning carrier military power, the successful landings put it on track to enter that club with gusto when it adds additional carriers to the group.

The Liaoning will no doubt serve as China's training carrier, where it cuts its teeth on the technical and tactical challenges facing flattop operations. Rumors have persisted for some time that Beijing was building two indigenous carriers as well, but proof of that has yet to be seen.

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