China Tests New-Generation Military Planes, Report Says
China is testing a new generation of military aircraft which includes the country’s first and most advanced stealth fighter believed to form the backbone of its air force.
The photos of fourth-generation stealth fighter J-20, airborne early warning and control system (AEW&CS) aircraft KJ-500 and Y-20 large military transporter, reportedly conducting tests flights, were published on a popular military forum, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
The internet user who uploaded the images identified the plane models and said “these pictures were taken recently at Yanliang Flight Centre”, a military airport in Xian, Shaanxi province.
The photos appeared to have been taken from some distance outside the airbase’s exterior fences.
Military enthusiasts often take photographs of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft and share the images on internet, the report said.
Previous media reports have said that the aircraft supposedly featured in the photographs are still in the testing phase and could be a few years away from deployment.
However, they are projected to serve as the backbone of the PLA air force once they are given the green light.
The J20, designed and built in China, is the country’s first stealth fighter and the PLA’s most advanced military jet.
It is reportedly capable of covering the vast South China Sea within its combat range, the report in Post said.
The Y-20, China’s biggest self-built military transport plane, is expected to serve the air force’s need to transport large amounts of heavy military weaponry, while the KJ-500 is the nation’s new generation of AEW&CS that provides early radar warnings to combat troops to give them an edge in potential future battles.