Military plane boosts China's reach

2013-01-28 10:01
Peoples' Liberation Army. (File, AFP)

Peoples' Liberation Army. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China's new long-distance military transport aircraft will "enhance its global power projection ability", state media said on Monday, after the plane's maiden flight at the weekend.

The Y-20, China's biggest home-produced military transport jet to date, had its first test flight on Saturday in the northwest of the country, just months after Beijing's first aircraft carrier entered service.

The state-run Global Times hailed the "significant milestone", saying China needed the planes, which can carry a load of 66 tons over distances of up to 4 400km, to "enhance its global power projection ability".

The aircraft will allow China's military to end its dependence on the Russian-made Il-76, a mainstay of humanitarian and disaster relief around the world, the Global Times quoted a military expert as saying.

The Y-20 is capable of carrying the heaviest tank used by China's army, the China Daily reported, quoting a military expert as saying that "the heavy air freighters will ensure that we are able to safeguard our interests overseas".

"With them, we can transport our people or large equipment to farther destinations to retrieve them," said Liang Fang, professor of strategy at the PLA (People's Liberation Army) National Defence University.

Defensive test

With a 55 ton payload, the Y-20 can fly from western China to Cairo, the state-run paper added.

But it also said the Y-20, which relies on Russian engines, lags behind the US-made Boeing C-17 Globemaster III due to its "comparatively conservative aerodynamic design and lack of a domestically developed engine".

The US Air Force says on its website that it has more than 200 of the model in its inventory.

Also at the weekend, China announced its second successful land-based missile interception test, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

"The test has reached the preset goal," it quoted a defence ministry official as saying, without giving detailed information. "The test is defensive in nature and targets no other country."

China more than doubled its publicly declared military spending from 2006 to 2012, roughly in line with economic growth, but rattling its neighbours in Asia. It insists its army expenditure is not aimed at any other country.

China is currently locked in a bitter dispute over the sovereignty of the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    china publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.