Liaoning Aircraft Carrier - China:

Liaoning is the first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in China. It is classified as a training ship, intended to allow the Navy to experiment and gain familiarity with aircraft carrier operations.

Liaoning aircraft carrier originally laid down in 1985 for the Soviet Navy as the Kuznetsov-class aircraft cruiser Riga, she was launched on December 4, 1988 and renamed Varyag in 1990. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, construction was halted and the ship was put up for sale. The stripped hulk was purchased in 1998 and towed to the Dalian naval shipyard in northeast China.

Liaoning Aircraft Carrier

The ship was rebuilt and commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as Liaoning on September 25, 2012. Its Chinese ship class designation is Type 001. In November 2016, the political commissar of Liaoning, Senior Captain Li Dongyou, stated that Liaoning was combat ready.

China has developed a carrier-based fighter aircraft, the Shenyang J-15. On 25 November 2012, it was announced that at least two Shenyang J-15's had successfully landed on Liaoning. The pilot credited with having achieved the first landing was Dai Mingmeng. According to Chinese media reports, the J-15 cannot take off Liaoning with a full weapons and fuel load exceeding 12 tons, being unable to get off the carrier’s ski jump ramp. The Shenyang J-31 is a fifth generation fighter aircraft being developed by China that may in future be adopted for carrier use. More details