China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, returned to its homeport Saturday after a three-month voyage, during which it carried out major and crucial tests.
During the voyage that started on June 11, the carrier witnessed more than 100 sorties of landing and takeoff by various aircraft, including the J-15 carrier-borne fighter, the official Liberation Army Daily (Jiefang ribao) said Sunday.
J-15 fighters took off and landed on the carrier with maximum load and various weapons, the report said.
Some observers have questioned if J-15 could take off and land on the carrier with a full load of weapons.
The tests have resulted in further improvement of the carrier’s flight control processes, according to the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army.
The voyage is the longest and farthest that has been taken by the Liaoning since its maiden voyage, the report said. It is also the first since it based its homeport in Qingdao in February.
The Liaoning is China’s only aircraft carrier in operation. It was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and delivered to the navy on Sept. 25, 2012.
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