BEIJING, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- China said the technology behind its aircraft carrier-borne fighter jet J-15 is its own, rejecting suggestions it was copied from foreign systems.
Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry, told reporters China sticks to independent innovation and has the capacity to build and develop its own aircraft carrier, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Official Chinese media had reported the J-15 landed successfully last Sunday on the deck of the retrofitted aircraft carrier "Liaoning," China's first such carrier.
"The assertion of China copying a foreign country's aircraft carrier technologies is unprofessional, if not an intentional attack," Geng said, stressing there was a transparent attitude during the landing exercises and that China released the news in a timely manner.
The J-15 was described as being capable of firing anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and precision guided bombs, and Xinhua quoted military experts as saying they believe the jet's capabilities are comparable to Russia's Sukhoi Su-33 and the U.S. F/A-18 Hornet.
The aircraft carrier was originally built in 1988 by the Soviet Union, and China bought it from Ukraine, a former Soviet state, in 1998. The vessel formally entered into China's service Sept. 25, after its crew completed more than 100 training and test programs.
Earlier, Xinhua, saying some foreign media reports had claimed the new J-15 carrier-borne fighter jet is merely a copy of a Russian model, dismissed such assertions as groundless, while noting the successful Sunday test made China one of the few countries to operate carrier-borne jets.
"It is not surprising that some western media quickly responded to the inspiring news with criticism and taunts, since the J-15, with an unfinished coating during the exercise had a similar aerodynamic shape with the Russian Su-33 jet," Xinhua said.
"There is always criticism of China for the crime of 'plagiarism' when the country makes progress in military hardware development, questioning China's respect to others' intellectual property rights and belittling the hardware's technological and tactical qualities."
Luo Yang, who headed the J-15 project, died of heart attack as the carrier was returning from the J-15 landing exercise.
"Those with ulterior motives should never underestimate China's capabilities of independent innovation in national defense technologies," Xinhua said, adding China developed nuclear weapons and artificial satellites when it was "still in poverty and hardship."
The article said as some military powers seek to curb China's military progress to "retain their position as world's top countries in key military technologies," China's development in such technologies "must rely on self-dependent scientific innovation."