China’s state TV has shown the “growing combat capabilities” of the national Liaoning (CV-16) aircraft carrier due to the increasing tension in the region.
Last week, Chinese TV spoke about the “growing combat capabilities” of the national Liaoning (CV-16) aircraft carrier, which is able to carry up to 20 warplanes and bolster the country’s balance of naval and aviation power in the Pacific rim amid growing tensions, Sputnik reported on Wednesday.
The Liaoning, carrying eight Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 fighters, along with a Z-18 and a Z-9 helicopters, was showed in the last Monday’s video. It was the largest number of aircraft yet seen on the carrier, that suggests China has plans to increase its presence in the Pacific Ocean.
“Once all eight aircraft fly out in formation, they have a strong combat capability,” Chinese Rear Admiral Yin Zhou said, speaking about the J-15 fighter jets during the program. He also noted that the Liaoning can carry up to 20 aircraft. This statement prompted Chinese media to further comment that the carrier exhibits “growing combat capability.”
The presence of Z-18F anti-submarine (ASW) helicopters and Z-18J airborne early warning (AEW), never before seen alongside the J-15 on the Liaoning carrier, is an indication of significant development of China’s joint aviation and naval capabilities.
Topping out at a speed of 1,585 mph (2551 kmh), the J-15 possesses semi-stealth capabilities, with China boasting that it is a fifth-generation weapon, with a range of 2,175 miles, providing the aircraft both the capabilities of an intercept fighter and a traditional combat warplane. Joined with the Z-18J and Z-18F helicopters, Beijing’s airpower in the Pacific is considered by some to be unrivaled.
The increased capacity of the Liaoning is substantial in the wake of a growing Chinese military presence, in response to not only the Hague court’s decision, but also demands by regional and Western governments. The Liaoning shows that if China chooses to fight, it has the technical capability to dominate on a battlefield.