BEIJING — Chinese aviation industry has made significant leaps over the past five years, according to the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country’s aviation giant.
China has seen a more complete aviation product pedigree with upgraded capacities in developing new models and batch delivery, especially in the past five years, said the AVIC in a recent press release.
FROM 3RD TO 4TH GENERATION
China’s latest J-20 stealth fighters have been commissioned into air force combat service, representing an important step in comprehensive combat capabilities.
The J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet. It made its maiden flight in 2011 and was first shown to the public at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai in Guangdong province in November 2016.
The Y-20, China’s largest homegrown transport aircraft, joined the air force in July 2016. The 200-tonne-level freighters play a critical role in China toward developing its long-range delivery capabilities.
Moreover, the newly-commissioned H-6K bomber and new generation of KJ-500 early warning aircraft contribute to the country’s combat capacity in precise strike and information warfare.
FROM MANNED TO UNMANNED
In the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sector, the Wing Loong UAS family have gained a reputation in the international military market with “big orders” in hand, according to the AVIC.
Wing Loong represents the country’s achievements in developing high-end reconnaissance-strike UAS, with their general performances matching similar products worldwide.
The Wing Loong family is a high-end reconnaissance-strike drone series independently developed by China.
The Wing Long I conducted its maiden flight in 2007, while the Wing Loong II successfully completed its maiden flight on Feb 27 last year, showing that China was capable of developing large-scale reconnaissance-strike UAS according to international standards.
The enhanced comprehensive combat capacity of China’s unmanned aerial vehicles have lifted the longtime surveillance and combat capabilities of the military.
FROM AIR TO AIR-SEA-LAND
China’s home-developed helicopter series Z10, Z-19 and Z8 are available to the military, enhancing combat capabilities in air-ground integration, long-distance maneuvering and special operations.
The J-15 carrier-based aircraft strongly supports the “Liaoning,” China’s first aircraft carrier, in developing blue sea operation power, the AVIC claimed.
Besides, the newly-delivered carrier-based rotor aviation equipment has greatly supported the naval air force.
In the international military market, China’s aviation products are becoming more competitive with a more complete pedigree alongside the country’s independent development in the industry, according to the AVIC.
Last year, China saw multiple new models of its export-oriented aviation products, such as with the maiden flights of the Wing-Loong II UAS, the JF-17B dual-seat fighter and Z-19E armed helicopter.