I'm going to give you a LIKE for your first sentence! If I could, I would give you 10, I'd give you another 10 for, "003 is only going to improve on the J-15's abilities"!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.
well stated, it then is a bit of a mystery why we aren't seeing more J-15s in production? lack of aircrew is most certainly not the reason? hopefully at some point someone will actually "fill in the blanks" for us, but I do expect to see a healthy number of J-15's on Chinese carriers for the foreseeable future, just as the USN will continue to support and fly the Super Hornet!