The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout
The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout

Why has China’s PLA started sending ‘grandpa fighter jets’ to test Taiwan’s air defences?

  • Last month an ‘island encirclement exercise’ featured four J-7s, a model that dates back to the 1960s and can be turned into unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Retired warplanes turned into drones can be used to confuse air defence systems and the PLA has embraced them as a low-cost, no-casualty option

Topic |   China's military
The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout
The PLA started flying J-7 fighters in the 1960s. Photo: Handout
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