Mon, September 20, 2010
China > China & World

China tries long-distance air attack mode in SCO drill

2010-09-20 15:54:32 GMT2010-09-20 23:54:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MATYBULAK RANGE, Kazakhstan, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Six warplanes took off from within China and launched long-distance "sudden attacks" in neighboring Kazakhstan in the on-going anti-terror drill of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said a Chinese general on Monday.

The simulated cross-border strikes were the first by the Chinese Air Force, according to Major General Meng Guoping, deputy commander of the Chinese military participating in the drill.

The six warplanes -- four H-6H bombers and two J-10 fighter jets -- were split into two missions. They were supported by an air early warning aircraft and were refueled by a flying tanker before they crossed the border into Kazakhstan, said the general.

Although the drill venue is within the range of both warplanes, they were refueled in the air to ensure a complete success of their missions, said General Meng.

Meng said by carrying out such a move in the war games, the Chinese Air Force is trying to build an integrated air battle group encompassing early warning, command, long-distance bombing, escort and air refueling.

He said the exercises are also taken as an opportunity to strengthen the air fight and support capabilities of the Chinese Air Force.

General Meng also summarized a number of new characteristics of the "Peace Mission 2010" drill, including information-based operations, field training exercises, coordinated command and control, combined actions, and diversified external support.

"Through many years of joint exercises, we have clearly understood that these (SCO) exercises could not only showcase power and deter the 'three evil forces (of terrorism, separatism and extremism)', but also serve as an important way to train our armed forces," said the general.

"Peace Mission 2010," the seventh joint drill of its kind, involved 5,000 troops from five of the six SCO member states -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Uzbekistan is not taking part in the drill, which runs between Sept. 9 and 25.

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