Offering unprecedented openness, China's aviation and aerospace industries are gearing up to showcase their technologies and products at Airshow China 2012, which will be held between Tuesday and Sunday, in a bid to attract international customers.
Along with the crowd-pleasing presence of the Russian Knights aerobatic team, the France-based Breitling Jet Team, and China's August 1st Aerobatics Team, the country's aviation and aerospace industries will be front and center as they occupy two of the three major exhibition halls.
The People's Liberation Army and its air force will present a large compliment of China-made fighter aircraft, including two types of attack helicopters that have previously been largely kept from public view.
By installing a large scale model at its booth, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China will officially acknowledge the existence of China's second stealth fighter, dubbed by outsiders as the "J-31," which made its maiden flight on October 31.
"Currently the only fifth generation fighter available for sale is the F-35 by the US. The 'J-31' will offer an alternative for non-traditional allies of the US," Bai Wei, former deputy chief editor of the Aviation World Monthly, told the Global Times, noting that the fighter will bring subtle changes to international relations.
China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation and China North Industries Group Corporation will show off a complete series of air defense weapons, ranging from a radar-controlled, high-speed Gatling gun that can destroy in-coming munitions and missiles, to long-range missiles that are capable of intercepting hostile aircraft from over 100 kilometers away.
Airshow China has in some ways become a military showcase for Chinese aviation and aerospace companies, said Bai, adding that one reason is that there is no point for Western weapons manufactures to show up due to the arms embargo, and China is also becoming less dependent on Russian weapons.
According to its website, Airshow China is the only international aerospace trade show in China that is endorsed by the central government. The show, which is presented every other year, has been held in Zhuhai since 1996.
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