China chose the Zhuhai Air Show this week to showcase a series of new People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft.
Among them are several drones and the new J-16D electronic warfare aircraft, a variant of the multi-purpose fighter produced under license by Shenyang.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper published a preview of what will be seen at the event this Sunday.
One of the highlights is the high-altitude drone WZ-7, designed to carry out long-term missions on borders and the high seas. The aircraft bears resemblance to the United States Global Hawk, thanks to the air inlet at the top of the fuselage, but has some of its own characteristics such as diamond-shaped wings.
Another relevant drone is the WZ-8, with supersonic capability and which was seen at the 100th anniversary parade of the Communist Party in July. The unmanned aircraft is focused on high-altitude reconnaissance missions.
The PLAAF will also exhibit the CH-6, an unmanned aerial reconnaissance and attack vehicle of enormous proportions. It uses two turbofan engines fitted in the tail and capable of carrying armaments.
Rival of the EA-18G Growler
Spotted days before the air show, the J-16D is expected to draw a lot of attention in Zhuhai. It is an electronic warfare variant similar to the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman EA-18G Growler.
The fighter, based on the Russian Su-27, carries several pods with equipment capable of jamming and even destroying enemy radars.
The Zhuhai air show will take place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 in Guangdong Province.