China likely inducting more fighter jets for western areas amid India standoff

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) western theatre command (WTC) – which is in-charge of the LAC – is said to be commissioning the J-16 fighter aircraft in the country’s western regions.
Indian Air Force fighter jet flies in the backdrop of Himalayan mountain range, amid the prolonged India-China stand off in eastern Ladakh.(PTI file)
Indian Air Force fighter jet flies in the backdrop of Himalayan mountain range, amid the prolonged India-China stand off in eastern Ladakh.(PTI file)
Updated on Nov 24, 2020 06:18 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan TImes, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis , edited by Vinod Janardhanan

China is likely commissioning more squadrons of a multirole strike fighter on the border with India, Chinese state media has indicated for the first time, as the militaries of the two countries dig in and deploy latest weaponry along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid the ongoing border faceoff.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) western theatre command (WTC) – which is in-charge of the LAC – is said to be commissioning the J-16 fighter aircraft in the country’s western regions.

It appears to be part of WTC’s efforts to upgrade weaponry and logistics for its forces deployed along the LAC.

“A brigade attached to the PLA WTC Air Force recently conducted a confrontational air-to-air combat exercise in order to examine and enhance the unit’s comprehensive combat capability,” the state-backed nationalist tabloid Global Times reported citing an article on the official WeChat account of the PLA WTC.

Also Watch l How can India counter China-Pakistan joint ‘mission’ amid Ladakh tension? 

The jets were being commissioned to “better safeguard China’s territorial integrity in the country’s western regions”.

“This brigade is in a key period of switching to use the J-16 heavy fighter jets, and the goal is to finish the process by the end of the year,” the report said.

The J-16 is a third-plus generation fighter jet domestically manufactured by China.

The reports did not mention the numbers of the fighter jets to be commissioned in the western sector; or which fighters they would be replacing.

Both Indian and Chinese militaries have deployed troops and weaponry besides strengthening infrastructure in border areas along LAC amid the worst boundary tension with China in decades in eastern Ladakh, where soldiers from the two countries have been locked in a faceoff since May.

The Indian Air Force is operating five newly bought Rafale fighter jets in the Ladakh region.

Several rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks have failed to resolve the situation and disengage troops.

The J-16 is modelled on a Russian fighter jet series but fitted with Chinese equipment.

The fighter aircraft is a twin-engine, twin-seat multi-role fighter jet that is also capable of air-to-air combat.

It made its debut during the Army Day parade on July 30, 2017 at the Zhurihe military training base in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

“Although it uses the classic Russian Su-27 aerodynamic design, everything inside is Chinese, including the WS-10 Taihang engines, an active array radar system and a new generation infrared observation and aiming system,” the WAC report, quoted by Global Times, said.

The J-16 is reportedly capable of carrying at least eight tonnes of weapons.

Although the J-20 is China’s more advanced fighter jet, the PLA Air Force still needs the J-16 as the two types of fighter jets can complement each other, Chinese military analysts had said earlier.

The fighter jet is painted with the latest version of “low observable coatings,” which experts said are developed to lower the chance of the warplanes being detected by radar.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Texas elementary school shooting: Gunman kills 14 children, one teacher

    Texas school shooting: Gunman kills 14 students, one teacher

    An 18-year-old gunman shot dead 14 children and a teacher at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, the state's governor said. The assailant "shot and killed, horrifically and incomprehensibly, 14 students and killed a teacher," Governor Greg Abbott told a news conference. He said the shooting suspect, a local teenager, was also "deceased," adding that "it is believed that responding officers killed him."

  • Leaked 'Xinjiang police files' reveal Uyghur detention camps in China

    Leaked 'Xinjiang police files' reveal Uyghur detention camps in China

    A leak of thousands of photos and official documents from China's Xinjiang has shed new light on the violent methods used to enforce mass internment in the region, researchers said Tuesday. Activists say Chinese authorities have detained more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in a network of detention centres and prisons in the region, which Beijing has defended as training centres.

  • Ukrainian servicemen sit in a bus after they were evacuated from the besieged Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant. 

    Ukraine war: 200 bodies found in basement of Mariupol building | Top points

    As many as 200 bodies were found in the basement of an apartment building in Mariupol after workers dug through the debris, authorities said Tuesday even as Russian forces were conducting an all-out assault to encircle Ukrainian troops in twin cities straddling a river in eastern Ukraine - a battle which could determine the success or failure of Moscow's main campaign in the east.

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates his reelection, during the 75th World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva.

    Tedros Ghebreyesus, re-elected as WHO chief: Official

    The first African to head the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was re-elected Tuesday with overwhelming support after running unopposed for a second term. Sources in the room said he had received 155 of the 160 votes cast. "I am a child of war," he said, the emotion palpable in his voice. "Not only a child of war, but following me throughout," said Tedros. Peace "is a prerequisite for health", he added.

  • Houses of Andhra Pradesh minister Pinipe Vishwaroop and MLA Ponnada Satish were set on fire.

    Daily brief: Andhra minister's house set ablaze and all the latest news

    Here are today's top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times. Andhra minister's house set ablaze amid protest against district's renaming The houses of Andhra Pradesh minister Pinipe Vishwaroop and MLA Ponnada Satish were set on fire as protests against the change of Konaseema district's name turned violent on Tuesday, local reports indicate.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022