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For the first time, PLA warplanes fly directly to Saudi Arabia from a stopover, accompanied by tanker-20 planes for refueling

The three reasons that make this news important


G e N Iuvinale


According to the news released yesterday, January 29, by the Chinese Air Force spokesperson, the Chinese Air Force used the Yuanyou-20 for the first time to provide aerial refueling support during the transfer of missions abroad.



On the 29th, People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and PLAN Aviation spokesperson Colonel Xie Peng said that seven J-10 aircraft from the Bayi aerobatic demonstration team of the Chinese People's Army Air Force took off from a airport in northwest China and headed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the second Saudi International Defense Exhibition and Flight Demonstration event, which will be held from February 4 to 8.


Xie Peng said that this is the tenth time the Bayi aerobatic team has flown overseas. During the flight, the Chinese Air Force sent a Yunyou-20 aircraft to accompany the formation of the aerial refueling mission.


This is the first time the Air Force's Bayi aerobatic team has visited Saudi Arabia, where it conducted an on-site inspection of the mission's airport environment and carefully choreographed the flight performance based on environmental characteristics and the plan of flight.


The Air Force aerobatic demonstration team has been established for more than 60 years and has been equipped with J-5, J-6, J-5, J-7EB, J-7GB, J-10 and J-10C demonstration aircraft and has provided services to more than 170 countries, and more than 700 delegations from the region have performed more than 700 flight shows. In recent years, the Air Force's Bayi aerobatic team has continued to go abroad and fly on the world stage.


In an interview with the Global Times on the 29th, military expert Ma Quan pointed out that this is the first time that the Yunyou-20 aircraft is used for aerial refueling and accompanying support in a long distance of flight for J-10.


The three reasons that make this news important.


First. In-flight refueling technology is indispensable for modern aeronautics, as it can significantly extend an aircraft's time in the air and improve the endurance of fighter aircraft. In this case, the Bayi aerobatic team used aerial refueling during its overseas mission, eliminating the need for planes to land at the airport and reducing dependence on land airports.


Secondly, the remote transition of the high-performance aircraft formation was accompanied by Chinese domestically produced Yuanyou-20 tanker aircraft. This demonstrates the achievements of the Chinese Air Force in the transformation and strategic construction of military aviation.


Third. This event demonstrates the actual level of combat training of the Chinese Air Force. The pilots, in fact, flew directly from national airports to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for thousands of kilometers after aerial refueling.

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