Chinese second aircraft carrier can carry 36 J-15 fighter jets

China's second aircraft carrier can carry at least 36 domestically developed J-15 fighter jets, some 50 percent more than the country's first, China's state broadcaster reported on August 13.

Chinese second aircraft carrier can carry 36 J 15 fighter jets Type 001A aircraft carrier after launching at Dalian, 2017 (Picture source: GG001213)

The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, can carry 24 J-15 fighter jets, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

Although the second carrier known as the Type 001A is similar to the Liaoning, it has an optimized flight deck, reduced weapon areas and a smaller superstructure with added deck areas, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times, noting that it also has an enlarged hanger, but reduced space for missile storage compared to the Liaoning.

The 24 J-15s of the Liaoning could be a limit factor as a regional combat might require about 40 aircraft in order to seize air supremacy, according to Li. The 36 fighter jets on the Type 001A would greatly expand its combat capability, he said.

In addition to the 36 J-15 fighter jets, the medium-sized Type 001A can carry other types of aircraft including helicopters.

The Type 001A was launched in April 2017 and has undertaken six sea trials since May 2018.