FC-31 stealth fighter, GJ-11 stealth attack drone that belong to China's "20" aircraft family on display at Airshow
Published: Sep 26, 2021 11:40 PM Updated: Sep 26, 2021 11:46 PM
A model of a J-20 stealth fighter jet is on display at the exhibition stand of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), as the China Airshow 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, opened to media on Sunday. Models of other AVIC aircrafts of

A model of a J-20 stealth fighter jet is on display at the exhibition stand of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), as the China Airshow 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, opened to media on Sunday. Models of other AVIC aircrafts of "20 family" including GJ-11 drone, Y-20 transport plane, FC-31 stealth fighter jet and Z-20 helicopter are also on display. Photo: Yang Sheng/GT

 After a year's postponement due to COVID-19, the long-awaited Airshow China in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province will display some of the country's latest weaponry and equipment not only in the air, but also on land and sea. A particular highlight will be dazzling flight performances by the most advanced fighter jet of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, the J-20, the Global Times learned on Sunday in a visit to the exhibition shortly prior to its planned opening on Tuesday.

A number of advanced aircraft in service with the PLA, such as the J-16D electronic warfare aircraft, WZ-7 high-altitude drone and WZ-8 high-altitude, high-speed drone, are on static display in the outdoor exhibition area for the first time.

Some of the aircraft are still partly covered up to be revealed only on opening day. 

All of the aircraft in the outdoor exhibition area are the real thing.

In the exhibition hall of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), scale models of the "20" aircraft family, namely the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the Y-20 large transport aircraft and the Z-20 utility helicopter, are displayed on a giant rotary table in the center, together with the model of a GJ-11 stealth armed reconnaissance drone.

A model of the FC-31, China's second stealth fighter jet, which is placed near an entrance to the hall attracted attention from many media outlets.

Even if they do not have "20" in their names, the GJ-11 and the FC-31 are both key members of the "20" aircraft family, Zhou Guoqiang, general manager assistant at AVIC, told a group of reporters on Sunday.

A J-20 conducted a rehearsal flight at the air show site on Saturday, but that cannot represent the real performance on the upcoming opening ceremony on Tuesday, Zhou said. "I can tell you for a fact that the performance that day will be much more spectacular."

Military observers expect the J-20 to make more daring and challenging moves compared with its previous flights and further display its outstanding maneuverability, particularly when it has reportedly switched to domestically developed engines from imported Russian ones.

A new iteration of the WS-10 Taihang Turbofan engine is on display at the booth of Aero Engine Corporation of China.

Apart from aircraft, China's state-owned arms firms also brought their wares, including group force and maritime weapons and vehicles including main battle tanks, armor vehicles, artilleries, long-range rocket launchers, missiles and unmanned maritime combat vehicles.

In the exhibition hall of China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) and China South Industries Group, hundreds of items that cover mobile assaults, fire assaults, unmanned systems, all-terrain mobile synthetic battalion system, individual combat equipment, wheeled fire attack equipment, terminal defense combat system, precision ammunition and civilian firearms have been displayed.

The China-made QBZ-191 automatic rifle will make its debut at the airshow. The rifle was first revealed to the public in the military parade in Beijing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 2019. 

Over 30 types of ground equipment, such as the combat tank VT4, the lightweight VT5 and the 8x8 armored tank VN1 will perform a variety of tactical operations including slope climbing, water obstacles crossing and snake-like maneuvers.

Li Heng, spokesperson of the NORINCO exhibition hall, told media that the VT4 and VT5 tanks are star products in the international market, and the VN-16 is the most advanced amphibious armored vehicle in the world. The VN-16's running speed in the water can reach 25 kilometers per hour and it can run safely in the sea state 4 condition and conduct accurate strike in the sea state 3 condition. 

Companies including China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited also put maritime weaponry and equipment on display, including the JARI-USV, a made-for-export ship drone with modularized and integrated designs.

The ship drone only has a length of 15 meters and a displacement of 20 tons, but it is capable of conducting air defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine missions thanks to a phased array radar system, vertical-launched missiles and torpedoes, China Central Television said in an earlier report.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation will reveal the HT-1E ship-borne universal vertical launching system capable of launching four missiles from a single launch unit.

China First Heavy Industries will exhibit a type of single barrel 76mm deck gun designed for small surface vessels.

Models of China's main battle vessels, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and submarines are also on display.

By offering all types of weaponry and equipment, Airshow China has become a world-class, comprehensive defense exhibition, analysts said.