The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) recently completed carrier qualification onboard the aircraft carrier Liaoning for a new batch of pilots directly recruited from high school for its carrier-based aircraft.
Demand within the PLAN for carrier-based aircraft pilots and other associated personnel has increased manifold in recent years.
Liaoning sailed to Bohai Bay and conducted the certification exams in early November, for a new batch of carrier-based fighter jet pilots from the PLAN’s Naval Aviation University, said the English-language Global Times, quoting a statement from the PLAN’s WeChat public account.
“J-15 fighter jets flew by the pilots successfully landed on the carrier during the exams,” the statement said. The average of the newly carrier qualified pilots is 20.
Over the course of the Liaoning’s recent carrier qualification tasks, it also set records for the largest number of pilots cleared for carrier-borne fighters in one test, the youngest average pilot age and shortest time to complete flight training and carrier certification.
China currently has two operational aircraft carriers - Liaoning and Shandong.