Earlier this year, photographs of the Huangdicun Airbase posted online indicated that Chinese aircraft carriers would be configured for Catapult-Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) operations, according to HIS Jane's. The J-15 aircraft viewed in photos appeared to have a catapult launch bar on its nose wheel, making it likely to be one of the first Chinese aircraft to test CATOBAR infrastructure. The Chinese J-15 is powered with Russian AL-31 turbofan engines.
At the time of the initial sighting, HIS Jane's wrote "So far there has been no official confirmation of the programme nor visible evidence of the construction, but there has been considerable speculation that production of the initial modules is already in progress."
Use of the enhanced CATOBAR system on future carriers will support the operation of a well-rounded carrier air wing, with heavier and more efficient aircraft, according to US Naval Institute.