China has officially handed over a mid-size transport aircraft to Kazakhstan, the first time that the Chinese aircraft has been acquired by a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation, the Y-8F200W is expected to land on Wednesday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, coming from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to the corporation's official WeChat account on Sunday.
The mid-size transport aircraft is the most practical and popular transport aircraft on the international market, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defense expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
There are two mid-size transport aircraft on the market: the Chinese-built Y-8 and the US-made C-130, Fu said. The Chinese Y-8 is the more cost-efficient choice, according to Fu.
Kazakhstan is now diversifying its source of weaponry beyond Russia, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Aside from the Y-8, the Kazakhstan military has bought Chinese drones.
"The export shows Chinese military aeronautic products have reached international level," Wei said.
The Chinese four-engined turboprop aircraft is based on the Russian Antonov An-12. It can be used for air delivery, transportation, emergency rescue and marine operation.
Fu said that the successful export to Kazakhstan increases the potential to enter the Middle East and African countries.
The Y-8 transport aircraft has already been exported to Pakistan, Myanmar and Venezuela, according to the experts.