China holds airborne early warning drill targeting Japan: report
Central News Agency
Taipei, April 6 (CNA) The Chinese air force completed a 24-hour drill that included three Chinese KJ-2000 airborne early warning and control system aircraft on April 2, with Japan serving as the imaginary enemy, Chinese media reported Saturday.
The drill began at 8 a.m. with the three KJ-2000s each operating for eight hours. All three aircraft were subjected to bad weather conditions such as heavy fog, strong winds and rain, and the drill was completed in 24 hours, China Central Television reported.
According to the People's Liberation Army Daily, areas covered in the drill including Zhongyuan -- the region on the lower reaches of the Yellow River -- northwest China, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
The daily said the exercise had several breakthroughs, including in terms of flight range and the length of time aircraft remained in the air.
Military experts said, however, that while having early warning and control aircraft in the air around the clock improved China's command of the air and ability to counter a Japanese invasion, the military's inadequate number of aircraft was still a major issue.
Wong Dong, a military expert in Macau, said China may have more advanced early warning and control system aircraft than the United States and Japan, but it lagged far behind in software and tactical deployment.
'In terms of quantity, China has even more of a disadvantage because Japan has 18 airborne early warning and control system aircraft and China has only eight,' he said.
(By Hu Li-tsung and Jamie Wang)
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