J-15 Carrier Multirole Fighter thread


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It would be great to have over a dozen new J-15 fighters equipped with avionics on the level seen on J-16 fighters by the end of current year.

While there is a decent likelihood of these new airframes being capable of launching via electromagnetic catapults, I do have to wonder if old airframes will ever get updated for receiving the same capability. For all our J-15 fighters to be capable in operating from every aircraft carrier in the near future would be a huge plus towards greater flexibility in terms of not just deployment but also training.

We know that electromagnetic catapults put less stress on airframes compared to launching from steam catapults, but would directly installing reinforced landing gears on previous J-15 fighters be enough to allow for catapult operations given how their airframes were internally strengthened compared with J-11 fighters already?


Junior Member
I don't expect the first batch J15 to have major upgrade due to their extensive training use. Up to now, training is still the most important matter as a large pool of pilots (for CV16, 17 and new carriers) need to be trained especially on the landing skills.

Each current J15 would likely be assigned to not less than 2 pilots, or three. With intensive training of 200 hours a year for each pilot, not less than 400 hours of air frame life would be depleted annually, or >4,000 hours for 10 years (2014 -2024).

Building new aircraft (J15B?) might be more cost effective than MLU aircraft with limited air frame time.


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Is it possible that China will replace the J15 with a smaller fighter? The J15 seems a little too big for a carrier and limits the numbers that it can carry.


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It's smaller than the F-14 which worked well on American carriers, even back in the 1970's
Thay are around the same size, with the Flankers being smaller only in wingspan when the Tomcat's have their wing fully extended. F-14's were certainly heavier though.
The Kuznetsov class design wasn't really meant to carry Flankers, though. As far as I am aware, its intended air wing was mostly Yak-41/Yak-141's.

asif iqbal

Interesting comparison but then again the F14 Tomcat was a formidable fighter

it was used to carry the mighty AWACS killer Aim-54 Phoenix missile which was only ever exported to the Shah of Iran