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China military

From stealth fighters to ballistic missiles, China shows the world its weapons of war

A breakdown of the technology on display for PLA’s anniversary celebration

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 11:41pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 6:53am

Almost half of the equipment seen at Sunday’s parade to mark the PLA’s 90th birthday was being displayed for the first time, and all of it was indigenously made, according to the Ministry of Defence. Here are the highlights:

DF-31AG missile

The road-mobile DF-31 series is an intercontinental ballistic missile designed mainly to deliver nuclear warheads.

The variant displayed at the parade has an estimated range of 11,000km, and could reach most of the continental United States as well as Europe.

It survivability has been improved by its off-road launch capability, and it is believed to be capable of carrying up to five warheads, which can be independently aimed and make the weapon more likely to be able to penetrate a missile defence system.

Chengdu J-20 fighter

China’s most advanced stealth fighter entered service in March, and three of the aircraft made a flyover at the parade.

The twin-engine fighter, designed by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, has a longer range and can carry more fuel and weapons than the US F-22 or F-35. However, its made-in-China WS-15 engines are widely thought to be inferior to Western ones.

Shenyang J-16 fighter

Before the parade, the J-16 was never shown to the public. Developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, it is based on the J-11B, a modification of Russia’s Sukhoi-30MKK.

The fighter is designed for a naval role, and will carry “stand-off” missiles that can attack ships from beyond visual range.

Xian Y-20 cargo plane

China’s first and largest home-made military transport plane, it was introduced in 2016. With a payload of 66 tonnes, it is capable of carrying China’s most powerful ZTZ-99A tank, which was also demonstrated during the parade.

The Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation used 3D printing technology to speed up the plane’s development and cut costs.

HQ-22 and HQ-9B air-defence missiles The HQ-22 was first revealed in 2016, and is a a cheap replacement for the obsolete HQ-2 air-defence system.

The HQ-9B is an upgrade of the HQ-9 that is similar to Russia’s S-300 missile. It is capable of targeting fighters, helicopters, drones and cruise missiles.

ASN-301 drone system

The unmanned aerial vehicle is based on an Israeli model and is designed to seek out and target radar systems. The drone has a top speed of some 220km/h, and can stay airborne for four hours. It can target up to eight radar systems from as far away as 228km.