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PLAAF Jets, Bombers Fly Around Taiwan

05/13/2018

People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke yesterday said that the PLAAF had launched military aircraft from separate airbases under both the Eastern and Southern Theater Commands in a coordinated flight around Taiwan. 

Of note was the inclusion of the PLAAF’s Su-35 jets and its first mission with its H-6K bombers, a derivative of the former Soviet Union’s Tupolev Tu-16, Shen said. 

Beijing signed a US$2 billion contract with Moscow for 24 of the jets in November 2015, the first foreign export of the Sukhoi Su-35. The first aircraft was delivered in December 2016. 

The Su-35’s air and sea combat abilities far outstrip the Chengdu Aerospace Corp-produced J-20 fighter. 

Chinese-language Asia-Pacific Defense magazine editor-in-chief Cheng Chi-wen said the F-16 Viper (F-16V) is the only combat aircraft in Taiwan’s arsenal capable of going toe-to-toe with the Su-35, but the F-16Vs have yet to take part in exercises since their upgrades, which began in January last year. 

This is a negative factor for the nation’s overall defense strategy, he said. 

Air Force Command Headquarters said Taiwan deployed its Indigenous Defense Fighters and F-16s to tail the Chinese aircraft. 

The air force later added photographs to its Facebook page to show that it had effectively followed the movements of the Chinese aircraft. 

Date: 
05/13/2018
Defense Products & Services: Su-35 Multirole Fighter
Defense Products & Services Sectors: 
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Sources of Information: 

Taipei Times

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