Thursday, October 04, 2018

J-15 a flopping fish?

Thanks to AL Z. For the link!!!

via Business Insider.
“The J-15’s engines and heavy weight severely limit its ability to operate effectively: at 17.5 tons empty weight, it tops the scales for carrier-based fighters,” Sputnik reported, adding that “The US Navy’s F-18 workhorse, by comparison, is only 14.5 tons.”

The Su-33 is about as heavy as the J-15, and Moscow is currently upgrading it’s troubled Admiral Kuznetsov carrier to launch the Su-33.

“The Asia Times noted that Chinese media has disparaged the plane in numerous ways,” Sputnik added, “including referring to it as a ‘flopping fish’ for its inability to operate effectively from the Chinese carriers, which launch fixed-wing aircraft under their own power from an inclined ramp on the bow of the ship.”
Super Hornet fans are pointing to this article and chest thumping that it is as they've said....the Navy is right for sticking with the Super Hornet because it is the best naval fighter in the world.

That is probably true (although you'd get arguments from Rafale fans), but should we actually view the J-15 as a naval warplane?

What I mean is that this is a heavy fighter, optimized for range and huge payload of air to air missiles and to be honest operate from land bases.

They made this big beast into a naval fighter as an afterthought.  If I remember correctly the Mig-29K was supposed to be the "real deal" naval fighter but went off the rails for some reason.

But let's not get it twisted.

Getting the J-15 on and off ship might be a nightmare but I imagine that once its in the air it turns back into a VERY formidable airplane.  Yeah I get it.  For naval aviation that is only part of the requirement but we should not be lulled into a false sense of security.

China is still rising.  They're still building aircraft carriers and they're still ready to challenge our forces on the high seas.

Drink in the article but be aware.

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