The J-15 is a Chinese twin-engine all-weather carrier-based fighter manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation in cooperation with the 601 Institute for the Chinese PLAN aircraft carriers. In China the J-15 is known as the Flying Shark with a NATO designation of Flanker-X2. The J-15 has the same basic airframe design as the Su-33. When the jet entered service in 2015 it was compared to the U.S. Navy’s two-seat FA-18 Super Hornet fighter. In 2018 it was announced the J-15 would stop production for the J-15B.
The aircraft carrier Liaoning was originally being built as the aircraft cruiser Riga but was renamed Varyag in 1990. When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 all work stopped on the bare bones ship and it was sold by Ukraine to China in 1998. The now named Liaoning, it was commissioned in 2012 and combat ready in 2016. In December 2015 the J-15 “Flying Shark” 116 c/n 02-07 registration 116 2015 was assigned to the Liaoning. 116 would become one of twenty- six J-15’s assigned to the carrier.