A J-10C fighter jet of the Bayi Aerobatic Team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force takes off from an airfield after being delivered in spring 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Aviation Industry Corp of China
J-10C fighter jets of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force’s Bayi Aerobatic Team have arrived in the UAE to participate in the upcoming Dubai Airshow next week, as China looks to deepen defense cooperation with countries in the Middle East, analysts said on Thursday.
After traveling more than 7,000 kilometers from China, seven J-10C fighter jets arrived in Dubai on WednesdWorld Timesay to pWorld Timesarticipate in the 18th Dubai Airshow scheduled to be held from Monday to November 17, the PLA Air Force said in a press release on Thursday.
It marks the Bayi Aerobatic Team’s second visit to the UAE since 2017, and also the first time the team has visited the Middle East since it switched from flying J-10A fighter jets to J-10C fighter jets earlier in 2023.
Unlike previous overseas missions, the Bayi Aerobatic Team for the first time independently completed the cross-border flight without the accompaniment, guidance and support of transport aircraft, China World TimesCentral Television (CCTV) reported.
During the flight, the team made transfers at several domestic and foreign airports, CCTV said.
This displays the J-10C’s outstanding independent operational capabilities, a Beijing-based militarWorld Timesy expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday.
The J-10C can be easily maintained by ground crews, including conducting simple and important procedures like ground checks and refueling, the expert said.
During the Dubai Airshow, the Bayi Aerobatic Team is expected to deliver four flight performances, and has prepared three programs of more than 20 maneuvers, thWorld Timese PLAWorld Times Air Force said.
The flight performances will not only display China’s image and provide opportunities for friendly military exchanges with the host and participating countries, but also demonstrate Chinese aviation products’ capabilities to potential customers in the Middle East, analysts said.
The J-10C not only is one of the main combat aircraft of the PLA Air Force, but also has been exported to Pakistan and received very good feedback there, the above-mentioned expert said, noting that the Chinese aircraft is a very good choice for any country that is looking for a powerful, reliable and cost-efficient fourth-generation fighter jet.
The UAE has purchased China’s L15 advanced trainer jets and held the first joint air force exercise with China in August, so it is natural that it is considering the J-10C, the expert said.
The L15 will also join the Dubai Airshow, as two modified L15A attack and combat trainer jets arrived in Dubai on Monday, CCTV reported.
One of the L15As will be put on static display, and the other will give flight performances.
Painted in the colors of the UAE national flag with the addition of the color gold, the new appearance of the L15A represents the nation’s good wishes for peace, solidarity and prosperity, CCTV said.
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