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Airshow China 2022 ready to open as top equipment for air, sea & space plus flight performances 'to reflect Chinese achievements'

(Global Times)

Updated: 2022-11-07

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H-6K bomber carrying two new-type missiles is ready to be put on display at Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province on November 6, 2022. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

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A YU-20 aerial tanker rehearses for a flight performance in preparation for Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province on November 6, 2022. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

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 A JH-7A2 fighter bomber is seen equipped with a new-type missile ahead of the Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province on November 6, 2022. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

With the Airshow China 2022 to kick off on Tuesday in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, the Zhuhai International Air Show Center was on Sunday almost ready to welcome visitors with some of the most attractive exhibits already in place, and many aircraft had already conducted rehearsals for flight performances.

The air show will not only display the Chinese military's and arms industry's achievements in the air, but also on the ground and at sea, with equipment in all fields to be represented, experts who visited the expo said on Sunday.

In the static display area, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force for the first time displayed a vehicle-mounted laser weapon system that targets small drones, a new and thinner missile of the HQ-9B air defense system, as well as the HQ-11 universal terminal defense system, which includes a vehicle equipped with vertically launched missiles and another vehicle equipped with a close-in gun.

It is the first time that the PLA Air Force has revealed the WZ-10 electronic reconnaissance drone and the KJ-500A, which is a KJ-500 early warning aircraft with an added aerial refueling probe.

Two new types of munitions also garnered wide attention: What seems to be a stealth air-to-surface cruise missile carried by a JH-7A2 fighter bomber, and what seems to be an air-launched ballistic missile carried by an H-6K bomber, which arrived at the site a few days ago.

Since Saturday, aircraft to deliver flight performances have been holding rehearsals above the event site, including four J-20s and a YU-20 aerial tanker. On Saturday, two J-20s landed and took off for the first time in Zhuhai in a rehearsal, and a YU-20 rehearsed on Sunday with three aerial refueling baskets released.

Within the exhibit halls, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China put the latest entry of the Wing Loong series drone, the Wing Loong 3, on its public debut. The Global Times learned that the new drone is very large, with a very long range and endurance compared with previous members in the series.

A civilian-use version of the Y-20 large transport aircraft, the Y-20F100, has been seen at the exhibition.

A crowd gathered at the booth of Aero Engine Corp of China as it featured a collection of the WS-10 Taihang series turbofan engines. One of the engines has what seems to be a two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzle. 

The SLC-18 space target observation AESA radar of China Electronics Technology Group Corp attracted attention because of its towering appearance. It can keep a close eye on reconnaissance satellites in low orbits, the Global Times learned at the air show on Sunday.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp exhibited a container-type integrated sea defense combat system that can launch a variety of anti-ship missiles. Anti-drone systems and air defense missiles are also being exhibited.

Another aerospace giant, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, put its CH and FH series drones on display, including the stealth CH-7 and the loyal wingman FH-97A, in addition to the YJ-21E air-to-surface missile weapon system.

For ground equipment, NORINCO Group for the first time offered a next-generation army brigade combat team, which consists of equipment for a reconnaissance battalion, a tank battalion, a mechanized infantry battalion, a drone battalion, an air defense battalion, a combat support battalion, a logistics support battalion and a brigade command center. The VT4A1 main battle tank upgraded with an active defense system and drone interoperability is one of the star products.

Different types of firearms including China's latest assault rifles, sniper rifles and pistols are available for visitors to try out - but to touch and pose with only. A type of portable railgun weapon system is also on display.

At sea, China State Shipbuilding Corp has a wide collection of warships available for export, from a 60 meter-class missile boat called the swordfish to corvettes of 1,000-ton class and 2,000-ton class, then to a 4,000-ton class frigate, and at last a 6,000-ton class destroyer.

The Airshow China 2022 has many new weapons and types of equipment on display that cover all fields of combat in addition to aviation and aerospace, Wei Dongxu, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday at the exhibition site.

It shows that China's armed forces and its arms industries have formed a whole and complete system, Wei said.

One of the highlights of the expo will be the many types of unmanned equipment, with so many drone aircraft, ships and vehicles as well as robots on display, Wei said. "It is important that they can work well together with real people," he said.

An exhibitor who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday that the air show is a great opportunity to display China's latest achievements in military modernization to the world.

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