WATCH Chinese Pilots Perform Night Land on Carrier Amid South China Sea Tensions
This is not the first time that Chinese pilots conduct nighttime drills using the only aircraft carrier of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. The drills come amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington over the contested islands and waters of South China Sea.
The state-run media outlet China Daily reported May 26 on the successful drills that Chinese J-15 jets had recently conducted. In a bid to increase “combat capability,” pilots trained taking off and landing on the Liaoning aircraft carrier at night. Landing at night is considered to be very challenging because it is hard for pilots to distinguish the signal lights on the short landing pad of the carrier.
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) May 24, 2018
Earlier, the US withdrew their invitation for China to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises due to Beijing’s deployment of military forces to the disputed islands in the South China Sea. China slammed the US move as “non-constructive.”