Danger Room: China’s Testing Woes Remind That Developing Carrier Planes is Hard

21.03.13

Categorie: Air, China, David Axe, Naval, Testing, Wired |
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by DAVID AXE

The ongoing trials of China’s first aircraft carrier and her ship-based jet fighters represents a major leap-ahead in capability for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). But the hype surrounding Lioaning‘s debut test cruise last summer and the inaugural landing of her J-15 fighters in late November masks an important truth, one the world’s other carrier powers have long known.

Developing a flattop and its planes is hard, requiring years of trial and error and no small amount of risk. And while China’s ascent as a naval power might seem unstoppable, the saga of China’s first seagoing fighter pilots proves otherwise. A lot of things can, have and will go wrong, casting into doubt whether Beijing will possess a truly useful carrier capability any time soon.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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