Free Air Combat Training Course Included in Air Force Flight Academy Syllabus
(Source:China Military Online; issued Feb 06, 2018)
HARBIN --- Pilot cadets of the PLA Air Force Harbin Flight Academy received their first free air combat training in a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius on Jan 30.

This is the first time that the PLA Air Force has introduced free combat training in pilot cadets' training programs of flight academies, conveying a signal of further advancement of the real battle training in flight academies.

The Harbin Flight Academy is the pioneer among the flight academies of the PLA Air Force to include the free air combat training in its syllabus of air combat tactics. For this purpose, the academy has refitted the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle trainer.

The contents of the free air battle training course include the air combats with offensive position advantage, defensive position disadvantage and balanced positions, as well as other tactics the air force pilots will take in the real air battle. The fourth-year pilot cadets will be engaged in the free air combat training throughout the whole training session before their graduation. After completing the free air combat training, they will have the basic qualifications of an air force pilot.

"At present, the training effectiveness are way better than the past," said an official of the academy. According to the official, the free air combat training allows pilot cadets to perceive the battlefield situation in real confrontations and help them to have a better command of flight maneuverability and tactics. "Next, the pilot cadets will receive training on the subjects of two-to-one free air combat, ground targets firing practice and night formation flying," he said.

The free air combat training with the closest proximity to real operations on the basis of risk aversion is the most effective way for the air force aviation troops to improve their fighting capacity. One of the highest honors of PLA Air Force pilots, the "Golden Helmet", is set for winners in free air combat competitions.

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