China Vaunts Air Power, Civil Growth at Zhuhai Show (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published Sept. 29, 2021)
By David Kirton
China has shown for the first time in public its J-16D electronic warfare aircraft at this week’s Airshow China 2021. The aircraft is equipped with four jamming pods under its wings and air inlets, and two additional EW pods on the wingtips. (GT photo)
ZHUHAI, China --- China touted its expanding military air power and hopes of capturing a growing share of its civil aviation market for domestic producers at a national air show inaugurated amid regional tensions over Taiwan and disruption from the pandemic.

Typically held every other year in the southern resort of Zhuhai, Airshow China opened on Tuesday after a year of delays caused by COVID-19, with a scaled-back foreign presence and a sharp focus on China's domestic and regional priorities.

Flying demonstrations on a hot and hazy day that had crowds scrambling for shade included a smoke-trailing display by J-10 fighters from the Bayi aerobatic team.

China's newer J-20 stealth fighter, which made its debut at Zhuhai in 2016, roared above dignitaries with domestic rather than Russian-made engines for the first time, state media said.

On the ground, China showcased a prototype of the CH-6 long-endurance drone, capable of reconnaissance and strike operations, and the WZ-7 high-altitude surveillance drone.

Also capturing attention for the first time was the J-16D, an electronic attack version of China's J-16 fighter. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

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FC-31 Stealth Fighter Gets PL-15 Missile, ‘Among the Best in the World’
(Source: Global Times; published Sept. 28, 2021)
ZHUHAI, China --- China's second stealth fighter jet, the FC-31, made its reappearance at the Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, which kicked off on Tuesday, and this time, it is displayed together with the powerful PL-15E beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile, as the missile, also used by China's J-20 stealth fighter jet, is announced to be available for export for the first time.

Both the FC-31 stealth fighter jet and the armament are of top-level, and their partnership will make them even stronger and among the best in the world, experts said on Tuesday.

A scale model of the FC-31 is displayed at an entrance of the exhibition hall of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), together with models of a PL-15E very-long-range air-to-air missile, a PL-10E short-range air-to-air missile and an LS-6/250 precision glide bomb.

The PL-15E is an air-to-air missile with a maximum range of 145 kilometers guided with a combination of inertial, satellite navigation, datalink and active radar, the Global Times learned from description boards at the exhibition.

The LS-6/250 is a guided precision glide bomb with a maximum range of more than 100 kilometers and weights 294 kilograms.

The PL-10E is an advanced, very agile and aggressive short-range air-to-air missile that was announced to be available for export during the Airshow China in 2018.

Domestic versions of the PL-15 and PL-10 missiles are used by advanced warplanes of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force like the J-20 and J-16 fighter jets, observers pointed out.

Developed as a fifth-generation fighter jet aimed at fulfilling the demands of future warfare and having delivered a flight performance at the 2014 edition of the Airshow China, the made-for-export FC-31 again made its appearance this year, AVIC said in a statement sent to the Global Times.

The FC-31, comparable with the US' F-35, is one of the world's most advanced stealth fighter jets, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times at the air show on Tuesday.

The PL-15E, PL-10E and LS-6/250 can cover long-range and short-range air combat as well as surface attack, making the FC-31 capable of fighting in all ranges and against all targets, the expert said, noting that the PL-15E is particularly powerful due to its beyond-visual-range capability much superior to other countries' missiles.

Combining the FC-31 and the weapons together means a world-class warplane even better than the F-35, the expert said.

Speculations have been circulating for a long time whether the made-for-export FC-31 will eventually join domestic service with the PLA and become its next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet.

While refusing to make a direct comment on the speculations, Zhou Guoqiang, general manager assistant at AVIC, told a group of reporters including from the Global Times in a preview visit to the exhibition hall shortly prior to the opening on Tuesday that the FC-31 reflects China's strength, and is a key achievement in the "20" aircraft family.

Not far away from the FC-31 model, a giant rotary table in the center of the AVIC exhibition hall displayed the other members of the "20" aircraft family, namely the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the Y-20 large transport aircraft, the Z-20 utility helicopter and the GJ-11 stealth armed reconnaissance drone.

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China’s J-16D Electronic Warfare Aircraft Reveals Jamming Pods, Missiles at Airshow China 2021
(Source: Global Times; published Sept. 28, 2021)
ZHUHAI China --- China's J-16D electronic warfare aircraft will reveal its jamming pods and missiles in its first public appearance at the Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, to be held from September 28 to October 3. Experts say that the debut of this new aircraft will display China's confidence and transparency on related technologies.

The J-16D is equipped with four jamming pods under its wings and air inlets, as well as two missiles under its belly, in addition to the two electronic warfare pods on the wingtips.

According to the description of the J-16D aircraft at the exhibition, this is a new type of electronic warfare aircraft developed based on the J-16 fighter jet and it has a comprehensive combat capability that integrates reconnaissance, attack and defense.

The J-16D can effectively counter hostile advanced air defense systems of early warning, command and communications as well as interception and strike. The new aircraft will enhance the electronic warfare capability of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and boost its systematic combat capability.

The J-16D will be vital for the PLA to control of electronic space and information in modern warfare, Zhang Xuefeng, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times at the air show.

Usually, these types of aircrafts are highly confidential and China's display of the J-16D shows confidence and transparency, Zhang said.

Electronic warfare aircrafts can accompany other warplanes and provide electronic warfare support, for example, conducting electronic jamming or deception. They can also launch direct attacks on hostile radar installations or early warning aircrafts, Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, previously told the Global Times.

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