PLA Western Theater Command Commissions More J-16 Fighter Jets

Asia & Pacific

The Shenyang J-16 is a domestically produced copy of the Russia’s Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft. The J-16’s advanced avionics systems and capability to carry a large amount of various munitions make it one of the PLA Air Force’s most powerful fighter jets.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command is reportedly commissioning more J-16 aircraft, a type of powerful fighter jet capable of controlling air, sea and land, in a move to better safeguard China’s territorial integrity in the country’s western regions, analysts said on Monday.

A brigade attached to the PLA Western Theater Command Air Force recently conducted a confrontational air-to-air combat exercise in order to examine and enhance the unit’s comprehensive combat capability, Shanghai-based news website eastday.com reported on Sunday, citing a recent article released by the official WeChat account of the PLA Western Theater Command Air Force.

According to photos and descriptions by the Western Theater Command Air Force, 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 read.

This means this brigade is the latest unit in the Western Theater Command Air Force to use the J-16, following another Western Theater Command Air Force brigade based in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality that made the switch…

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