Source: People's Daily OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
China's own domestically built military cargo jet, Y-20, will likely be put into service in the army this year, a military expert said in an interview with People's Daily Online.
According to Xu Yongling, a military expert, the test flight period for large aircraft is generally between three and five years. Since there have been no bottlenecks during development or manufacturing, the Y-20 will be put into use this year.
The first flight of the Y-20 took place in 2013, making China the fourth country in the world, following the U.S., Russia and Ukraine, to develop a 200-ton military cargo jet.
"This is not only progress for China's national defense industry, but also a milestone of industrial and military modernization," Xu said.
The official code name of the aircraft is Kunpeng, after the mythical bird of ancient China that can fly for thousands of kilometers. However, within the Chinese aviation industry, the aircraft is more commonly known by its nickname, Chubby Girl, named by military fans for its relatively wide fuselage.
Military expert Chen Hong said in an interview with People's Daily Online that the carrying capacity of the Y-20, around 60 tons, is higher than that of Russia’s Ilyushin Il-76, a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter. The Y-20's engine, aerodynamic arrangement and combat performance are all better than those of the Russian aircraft.
The cargo jet can be used to refit significant special operations platforms, as it has a long flying period and flying distance. The Y-20 is also a good choice for maritime detection and early warning, according to Chen.
As for future military developments, airborne transportation depends not only on the Y-20, but also on other military cargo jets, which China may develop in the next five to ten years, according to Xu.
Monday, January 04, 2016
Boring logistics picture of the day: Y-20 Strategic Airlifter "expect to deliver to the PLA soon"
Picture of the fifth Y-20 Strategic Airlifter prototype 785. It rolled out of Xi'an Aircraft Company last September.
Must...have...more Y-20 Strategic Airlifters
PLA 'needs to boost its readiness'
Source: China DailyEditor: Ouyang
Large transporter planes, satellites are called for to play a bigger role
The People's Liberation Army will need to make significant changes following a historic reshuffle of its branches, according to experts.
They were speaking after President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday the establishment of the PLA Army Headquarters, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force.
The experts said the PLA will need to set up inter-services platforms and more universal hardware to improve its combat readiness.
Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said, "President Xi has repeatedly stressed the importance of information and joint operation capabilities, which I believe are pillars to winning modern warfare.
"So, the PLA should give priority to developing an inter-services command and logistics system."
He said the PLA Army, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force, which was established on Thursday to replace the Second Artillery Corps and manage strategic missiles, currently have their own platforms to handle information, maneuver units and arrange logistics.
Wang said these separate platforms should be integrated to allow a smoother command chain. He also suggested that a universal early-warning and control system and long-range transporter aircraft are needed for all services, rather than just the air force.
Wang said large planes like the Y-20, which made its maiden flight in January 2013, and which developers expect to deliver to the PLA soon, will make troop deployment easier, enabling the military to act more promptly and to better respond to emergencies.
He said the army, the PLA's largest branch, should develop a next-generation main battle tank, which he proposed should be highly automated and have better information capability than the current Type-99A tank.
Cao Weidong, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said that for the army, air force, navy and missile forces to act in concert with each other, more military satellites will be needed as they will play an increasingly important role in obtaining information and transmitting directives among different fighting units.
"The air force and navy will need more equipment that can perform or support long-range operations. For instance, the navy will need amphibious assault ships, large supply vessels and advanced guided missile destroyers, while the air force will pursue long-range refueling aircraft," he said.
Wu Peixin, a military observer in Beijing, said the PLA should develop new individual smart weapons and portable logistics devices, which will strengthen each soldier's combat capability.