China's homegrown transport plane takes off successfully
Central News Agency
Beijing, Jan. 26 (CNA) China's first homegrown strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft, the Yun-20, took off successfully Saturday, marking the beginning of the country's strategic air power buildup.
According to Chinese news reports, the aircraft, codenamed Quenpeng after a legendary bird in Chinese folklore, was developed by the Xian Aircraft Industry Company. Ltd. in the central China province of Shaanxi.
Its 66-ton payload capacity makes it one of the top-10 transport aircraft in the world.
Chinese news reports said the aircraft's ability to quickly transport troops and weapons to otherwise inaccessible areas will speed up China's response to potential regional wars and crises.
It will also enhance China's ability to protect its overseas interests by evacuating overseas Chinese, and carrying personnel and large equipment to places where they are needed, the reports said.
Liang Fang, an associate professor at China's National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army, was quoted as saying that the large transport plane, described as an 'airborne bridge,' will significantly improve China's ability to defend its national interests and increase it chances of winning a regional war.
(By Tsai Su-jung and Maubo Chang )
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