CHINA / MILITARY
PLA’s advanced fighters, transport aircraft to debut at Intl Army Games
Published: Aug 14, 2021 09:23 AM Updated: Aug 14, 2021 06:04 PM
Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2021 shows J-10B fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2021 shows J-10B fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua



Some of China's most advanced military aircraft, including fighter jets and transport aircraft, will make their debuts at the upcoming International Army Games 2021 in Russia, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has announced.

Their involvement in the competition will not only display a high level of weaponry and equipment in addition to the combat preparedness of the PLA Air Force alongside other participating countries, but also will allow the Chinese troops to make exchanges with other militaries who have had experience in real combat, serving to further hone in their capabilities to fight in a real war, analysts said on Saturday.

The PLA Air Force has dispatched 11 military aircraft, including H-6K bombers, J-10B fighter jets, J-16 fighter jets, a Y-20 large transport aircraft and a Y-9 tactical transport aircraft, as well as a team of airborne troops to Russia to participate in the International Army Games 2021, an event initiated by Russia's Defense Ministry scheduled from August 22 to September 4, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday, citing sources with the PLA Air Force.

All of the participating aircraft are domestically developed.

The combatants, namely the H-6K bombers, the J-10B fighter jets and the J-16 fighter jets, will likely participate in the Aviadarts contest to be held in the Ryazan Region, and the Y-20 and Y-9 transport planes will likely carry a team of airborne troops to the Airborne Platoon contest in the Chelyabinsk region, observers said.

The J-10B fighter jets, the J-16 fighter jets and the Y-20 large transport aircraft will make their debuts in the event, while the H-6K bombers and the Y-9 tactical transport aircraft have been taking part in the competition since 2018, according to Xinhua.
 
Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2021 shows a Y-20 large transport aircraft of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2021 shows a Y-20 large transport aircraft of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua



China has enhanced its participatory fleet this year, with the upgraded J-10B fighter jets replacing the previous J-10A fighter jets, the more advanced J-16 multi-role fighter jets substituting the previous JH-7A fighter bombers, and the domestically developed Y-20 transport aircraft replacing the previous Russian-made Il-76s, a Beijing-based military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Saturday.

This will put these new warplanes to the test alongside other countries, as they will better represent the PLA Air Force's latest technological and technical advances, and could expose their strengths and weaknesses when compared with others, the expert said, noting that the Chinese troops will again get the chance to make exchanges with foreign militaries that have had experience in real combat.

Upgraded from the J-10A with more advanced avionics systems and a diverterless air intake, the J-10B is a single-engine, all-weather supersonic multi-purpose fighter jet domestically developed by China capable of carrying out tasks including seizing air superiority, close-range aerial fire support, and precision strikes on land and surface targets.

The J-16 is a twin-engine, twin-seat multi-purpose heavy fighter jet that is believed to be one of the most powerful warplanes in the PLA Air Force fleet, only second to the most advanced J-20 stealth fighter jet.

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2021 shows J-16 fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2021 shows J-16 fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force.Photo:Xinhua



After multiple missions including the transportation of medical personnel and supplies to COVID-19-hit areas not only in China, but also to other countries, the Y-20 large transport aircraft has become a frequent flyer to foreign lands. 

H-6K bombers, J-16 fighter jets, Y-20 large transport aircraft and Y-9 tactical transport aircraft also participated in the China-Russia Zapad/Interaction-2021 joint strategic exercises in Northwest China that wrapped up on Friday.

In an innovative tactic that was used for the first time in the exercise, the fully-loaded Y-20 large transport aircraft airdropped heavy equipment including airborne assault vehicles while also hosting airborne troops parachuting simultaneously from three hatch doors, greatly increasing the effectiveness of airborne combat, while the J-16 fighter jets launched precision strikes from 70 kilometers away, reports said.

 
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