J-15 Carrier Multirole Fighter thread


VIP Professional
In addition to reasons i offered earlier for the matter of why aren't we seeing more J15 already - here is another one. Possibly the main reason, really.

It all goes under the assumption that Henri K's projections about number of certified pilots are correct. (which they may not be)

Back in 2017 he did this projection.
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In it he supposed that in 2017 there were 29 to 36 pilots certified for j15. And he further projected 39 to 56 pilots for 2019.

Recently, he slightly changed his 2019 projection to 45 to 55 pilots.
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Now, certified pilots may not include the initial test pilots that flew the prototypes. Indeed, his 2017 table says in 2012 there were 0 certified pilots, so it would appear he is only counting the pilots that graduated from the school for carrier pilots.

Now, how many pilots should there be per carrier? The general rule of thumb in every air force is - the smaller the air force, the more pilots per plane are needed. Some tiny airforces went with 2 pilots per fighter jet seat. USAF, being a huge air force, has that ratio at 1.3 pilots per fighter jet seat. USN carrier squadrons have that ratio at 1.5 pilots per seat, as far as i could find.

That's for roughly 45+ fighter jets on a carrier. For a smaller force of, say, 24 fighters, the ratio may need to be even slightly bigger.

While we have those test pilots, that may not be counted within the certified pilot pool, those probably do have their hands full with various other development units. Further J15 development, twin seater variant, EW variant, catapult demonstrator, etc. We've seen all those subvariants of J15 to exist.

Now, since Liaoning can operate 24 planes, in order for it to use them to their fullest potential, at least 36 pilots might be needed. Which would leave, according to Henri K., 9 to 19 pilots. But some of those pilots are almost certainly doing their share to help teach new generation of pilots. How many would that be is hard to say. Could be 5, could be 10. Or even more.
But even with just, say, 6 more pilots doing the training of cadets (probably some of the first gen test pilots, not within this certification estimate, may also be involved in training) we would be looking at 3 to 13 pilots available. Which, with the minimal 1.5 ratio, means just 2 to 8 J15 planes being available for the second carrier. If 10 certified pilots are helping with the training, possibly on twin seater J15s that we haven't seen many images of, then 0 to 9 new certified pilots might be free for the second carrier air wing. Meaning just up to 6, and possibly none, new J15s could have pilots available for them.

So, IF the above does hold some merit, it's no wonder we haven't seen any new J15 images. As there probably aren't many new J15 out there. Why build 24 planes only to have them wait? By the same logic, PLAN may not be in a rush to get the second carrier commissioned as there's no pilots to start getting accustomed to it. (though this line of reasoning is less solid than for J15, as crew could get trained on Liaoning)

Of course, it all depends on how accurate those pilot certification number estimates are.
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asif iqbal

All of that means nothing as this fan boy Henri is missing one crucial point

carrier pilots are like athletes, the minute they stop training their skills start to deplete at a very fast rate

all those qualified pilots don’t get qualified and go home, every week every month they need carrier time to maintain their skills

If CV-16 trains the pilots the trained pilots need to maintain their skills on CV-17

There is no excuse for no batch 3 and even more not this stupid excuse of there is no more pilots

you simply cannot just keeping counting qualified pilots like they are hatched chickens now in the bag ready for combat


Junior Member
Registered Member
I think new pilots are being trained on Liaoning on rotation as on then & there basis once new ACC is fully operational I don’t think they will wait for that time to get their pilots trained on the ACC
As if the production rate of j15 is 24/30 a year that production can be started near the operational of the new ACC
But hopefully pilots will be trained for that particular carrier well before time as those pilots can be trained on Liaoning very easily
Just a thought
Thank you


Junior Member
If PLAN does not plan for the following, then they are among the most stupid organization in the world. In truth, of course they are not, they just don't want you to know.

1. Recruiting sufficient naval carrier certified pilots for two aircraft carriers when the order for the second cv is confirmed by the boss.
2. By the time the second CV is inducted into PLAN service, all aircrafts and pilots (for second cv) should be ready and well trained on CV16 Liaoning.
3. There will be sufficient number of J15 to be in service with CV16 Liaoning, the second CV and shore based training centres.

asif iqbal

There is no way CV-16 is training new pilots and also maintaining the existing ones

the deployments are just not frequent enough simple

it’s just a fan boy wet dream to keep saying there’s not enough pilots for batch 3 of J15


Registered Member
J-15 is PLAN's main fighter whether people like it or not. There's no foreseeable replacement and even if J-35 or even J-20 carrier variant/s are near completion, it's unlikely the J-15 will be completely abandoned. PLAN has built up a fair bit of experience with the J-15 now. 003 is only going to improve on the J-15's abilities. An electronic warfare version of the J-15 exists at least in prototype and the line can be further improved with an MLU ala J-11BG.

An AESA J-15 carrying next generation missiles flying with full fuel and weapons load off a CATOBAR carrier is going to be quite a beast. Combine it with J-35 or J-20 flying in front. PLAN needs a missile truck with excellent range. Now if only it could supercruise, they'd have the perfect carrier fighter to complement 5th gens.