Tag Archives: People Liberation Army Air Force

Chinese Su-27 Jet Threatened U.S. Surveillance Aircraft with a barrel roll stunt over the top of it

A Chinese Su-27 Flanker flew within 50 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

It looks like not only Russian Su-27 Flanker are involved in close encounters with U.S. surveillance planes around the world.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a Chinese Su-27 flew dangerously close to a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) aircraft over the East China Sea, on Aug. 19.

The P-8, a derivative of the Boeing 737, capable to carry the Mk-54 airborne torpedo and the Harpoon anti-ship missile, and to perform ASW missions as well as ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) tasks, was conducting a routine surveillance mission in international airspace when a Chinese Flanker intercepted it.

Routine stuff, until the Chinese jet flew within 50 feet of the Poseidon “and then carried out a barrel roll over the top of the aircraft” a maneuver meant to threaten the American aircraft, as commented by US officials familiar with the incident who have talked to Washington Free Beacon’s

The American jet was one of the aircraft assigned to U.S. Navy’s VP-16, a squadron based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, that has been deployed to Kadena, Okinawa, one the largest U.S. airbases in the Asia-Pacific region, located about 400 chilometers East of the disputed Senkaku islands (Diaoyu for China), since December 2013.

Navy’s Poseidons not only assisted rescue efforts in the Philippines, supporting Operation Damayan, but they are constantly monitoring Chinese movements in region where tension is still high following the establishment of a Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

As already recalled when reporting about the RC-135U intercept last June, on Apr. 1, 2001, a U.S. Navy EP-3E with the VQ-1, flying an ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) mission in international airspace 64 miles southeast of the island of Hainan was intercepted by two PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) J-8 fighters.

One of the J-8s piloted by Lt. Cdr. Wang Wei, made two close passes to the EP-3 before colliding with the spyplane on the third pass. As a consequence, the J-8 broke into two pieces and crashed into the sea causing the death of the pilot, whereas the EP-3, severely damaged, performed an unauthorized landing at China’s Lingshui airfield.

The 24 crew members (21 men and three women), that destroyed all (or at least most of ) the sensitive items and data on board the aircraft, were detained by Chinese authorities until Apr. 11.

H/T to Isaac Alexander for the heads-up

P-8A Safe Sep Harpoon #1 T-3 BuNo 167954 TD Ray Samora.

Image credit: PLAAF, U.S. Navy

 

Amateur video showing China’s second stealth plane’s test flight emerges

The prototype of a J-31 Falcon Eagle, China’s second stealth fighter jet that performed its maiden flight on Oct 31, 2012, can be (barely) seen in this video most probably recorded near Shenyang Aircraft Corporation facility in February 2013.

Whereas a number of images have emerged from the Chinese Internet, there are not many videos around featuring the new J-31; the majority of them are just a montage of several images.

The aircraft (a merge between an F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II) is believed to be a carrier variant, destined to China’s future aircraft carriers.

 

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China’s Air Force aerobatic display team to attend first ever air show abroad. In Russia

The Chinese national aerobatic team, named August 1st (after the date of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force) is to be the highlight on the MAKS 2013 air show in Moscow on Aug. 27.

The team was established 51 years ago; over the years pilots have performed for 668 delegations from 166 countries and regions. However, the Moscow tour will be the team’s first show abroad.

According to the official sources the debut is to strenghten the international ties between Russia and China – in this way the team’s visit to Moscow has a largely political dimension.

The Chinese team initially used J-5 fighters, which were homebuilt MiG-17s. Nonetheless in order to fully showcase the developments in the Chinese aviation, domestic third gen. J-10 fighters in a version that has no armament, equip the display team based at Yangcun Air Force Base (Meichong) near Tianjin.

August 1st use 8 J-10s but only 6 of them take part in the show.

The home debut of the J-10s took place during the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, back in 2008.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

China national display team

Image Credit: News.CN,  Flickr/ Tomislav Mesaric

 

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International Women's day special: China's Air Force first six JH-7 female fighter pilots pose for photo

According to a Xinhua News Agency article the first six “”loyal and fearless” female pilots flying with the Xian JH-7 fighter bomber have just finished the training required to perform all-weather air-to-ground missions and are now able to attack and destroy targets located on unfamiliar ground, hidden by fog, using precision munitions.

The female fighter pilots, currently assigned to a PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) Regiment, were selected from more than 20 million girls graduated from high school in Sept. 2005. After attending the flying school, they were assigned to a front line squadron in Mar. 2011, where they conducted advanced training that included formation flying, low altitude attack, live firing exercises using conventional weapons.

The Xinhua article depicts the female pilots as “skilled” “loyal” and “fearless” and provides also a group shot of the six JH-7 pilots with flight suits and helmets. Wow, not bad for a totalitarian state where the information on women (and women’s rights..) is usually hidden or classified as secret.

Image credit: Xinhua News Agency

China's 5th generation stealth fighter performing combat maneuver tests over Chengdu

The following videos, once again purposely leaked to impress foreign observers, show China’s 5th generation stealth fighter J-20 at work during test flights at Chengdu. The second, taken on Feb. 26, 2012, at the end of the 70th public test flight, shows the future People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) radar evading plane performing some low level combat maneuvers.

Nothing special to be honest.  Indeed, what’s really amazing is not the turn rate nor maneuverability rather then the take off run of the J-20: extremely short for such a large plane, believed to be around 70 feet in length, with a wingspan of 42 feet (13 m) or more, and expected to have a takeoff weight of 75,000 to 80,000 pounds (34,000 to 36,000 kg) with internal stores only.

Feb. 4:

Feb. 26:

As already written several times, some western analyst believe the J-20 will be more capable than the F-22 and the F-35.

On the contrary, I’m among those who think that the real problem for the U.S. with the J-20 is not with the aircraft’s performances, top speed, equipment and capabilities (even if the US legacy fighters were designed 20 years earlier than current Chinese or Russian fighters of the same “class”); the problem is that China will probably build thousands of them.