China’s air force quietly adds new J-16 fighter jets to ‘push the envelope’

scmp

China’s expanding line-up of multirole, all-weather J-16 fighter jets will help the air force to launch strikes deep into enemy territory and destroy key strategic assets like airfields and bridges, military analysts say.

While it is not as advanced as the new J-20 – officially named Weilong, or powerful dragon – the Shenyang J-16 will become a key part of PLA Air Force operations and any strategy against Taiwan or to deter US military intervention, they said.

China’s air force announced last week that a squadron of J-16s would soon be combat ready. Based on the Russian Sukhoi-30 fighter jet, the J-16 was introduced around 2012 to 2013 but did not make its official debut until a year ago, during a military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army. Powered by a Chinese WS-10 Taihang turbofan engine, the fighter jet has been compared to the US F-15A/C Eagle…

Read more : SCMP, 12.08.2018