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China displays new military acquisitions at air show


BEIJING (PTI): Displaying a variety of its new military acquisitions like missile launchers and aircraft, China on Tuesday kicked off this year's air show at Zhuhai city with aerial acrobatics by its women pilots.

State television showed the women pilots flying J-10 fighter jets and conducting acrobatic manoeuvres at the show attended by hundreds of diplomats, defence analysts and journalists.

A variety of wares displayed included the new missile launcher FB 60 which can fire 48 missiles at one go at targets within a 30-km radius.

Also displayed were China's Y-20 heavy air transport planes and J-31 stealth fighters which Chinese officials claim are competitive with their western counterparts.

The 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition at Zhuhai in Guangdong Province is on till November 16.

The Y-20, a wide bodied military transport aircraft is expected to enter military service soon. Its debut at the air show will demonstrate its reliability, Geng Ruguang, a deputy general manager of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), told media.

Y-20 is compared with the Russian-made IL-76 and the US C-17 which are also present at the show.

Geng said that the Y-20 is wider than the IL-76, a key feature for large military transport aircraft and claimed some of its technologies are more advanced than the IL-76.

"It is also of great significance to military strategy. The Y-20 will help save money on military construction in strategic locations such as the East and South China Seas, since it can transport personnel and weapons effectively," Wang Guoxiang, associate professor with the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told state-run Global Times.

It will also provide China a sturdier, more survivable option to evacuate its civilians from hot spots, instead of relying on smaller, more fragile civilian aircraft, Wang said.

China also showcased its J-31 stealth fighter.

Comparing the J-31 and the US F-35 Joint Strike fighter, Li Yuhai, another deputy general manager with AVIC said it will change the status quo, and will overtake other members of the so-called "fourth generation" of fighter jets to occupy a leading role in the market.

Li added that J-31 is a true fourth generation fighter but with Chinese characteristics, including a fair price and high reliability.

"Our fourth generation fighters can now compete with foreign fighters," Li said.

However Wang said the People's Liberation Army Air Force has not yet decided whether to purchase the J-31.

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China  Military  Air show  

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