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YU-20 tanker aircraft already deployed for China-Russia joint aerial strategic patrol: PLA Air Force spokesperson

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YU-20 tanker aircraft already deployed for China-Russia joint aerial strategic patrol: PLA Air Force spokesperson
By Guo Yuandan in Changchun
Published: Aug 28, 2022 08:04 PM

About 140,000 spectators gathered at Dafangshen Airport in Changchun for the PLA Air Force open day event on Sun. The audience was mesmerized by the flight performances of various types of aircraft and the display of star jets including YU-20, H-6, J-10C and KJ-500. Photo: Cui Meng

About 140,000 spectators gathered at Dafangshen Airport in Changchun for the PLA Air Force open day event on Sun. The audience was mesmerized by the flight performances of various types of aircraft and the display of star jets including YU-20, H-6, J-10C and KJ-500. The pictured is the YU-20 on display on August 28, 2022. Photo: Cui Meng

New generation military aircraft such as the YU-20 aerial tanker and J-16 fighter jets have been deployed in the China-Russia joint aerial strategic patrol, said Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, a spokesperson for the PLA Air Force, in response to a question from the Global Times concerning the YU-20's flight path at a press conference for the PLA Air Force's open day event in Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin Province on Sunday.

Implementing cooperation plans between the two militaries, China and Russia carried out a regular joint aerial patrol in the airspace over the waters of the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean on May 24. China's state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) on May 29 released images where China's J-16 fighter jets, H-6K bomber jet and Russia's Tu-95MS bomber jet were flying together, the first time China revealed the information that J-16 fighter jets conducted an escort mission for the H-6K bomber.

The YU-20, J-16 multirole fighter and H-6K made their public appearance at the Changchun Air Show on Friday, and the YU-20 aerial tanker, the force amplifier that recently entered service with the PLA Air Force and made frequent appearances in exercises around the island of Taiwan earlier this month received much attention.

Shen noted that no matter which type of aircraft is in the joint patrol, it plays its role. "Every joint patrol is a systematic training for real combat purpose to enhance the capability to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests."

According to Yang Minghui, the aircraft commander of PLA Air Force YU-20 who attended the press conference on Saturday, the YU-20 has good flight performance and oil-carrying capacity, which can improve the air force's continuous combat and long-range strike capabilities.

Since its installation, the oil-transporter has participated in more than 20 training activities, comprehensively tested its support capabilities in actual combat training, and played the role of an air force multiplier, Yang revealed.

Yang Kaihua, the aircraft commander for the H-6K bomber jet who participated in the press conference on Sunday, said the H-6K is a new medium and long-range bomber independently developed by China.

In recent years, the Air Force H-6K unit has been training hard and preparing for real battle. From the plain to the plateau, from the inland to the far sea, it has a broader vision and stronger capabilities, he noted.

In the past decade, Shen said, the H-6K bomber has flown across four straits - the Bashi Channel, Miyako Strait, Tsushima Strait as well as the Taiwan Straits.

And also in the past 10 years, the PLA Air Force has also flown in eight new deployments which include a China-Russia joint air patrol, patrols in East China Sea and South China Sea and combat practice in the Taiwan Straits. "We have flown along flight paths we never had before and have been to places that we never had before."

Shen stressed that the Chinese military will always be a staunch force to safeguard world peace. The PLA Air Force faithfully fulfills the sacred mission of defending the security of the motherland and maintaining world peace, and provides air power to support the realization of the Chinese dream and the dream of building a strong Chinese military.

 

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