China’s new combat aircraft makes debut flight

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BEIJING: China’s indigenously- built new multi-role combat aircraft for exports has made its debut flight, the state-run media reported Saturday. The FTC-2000G, a new multirole combat aircraft developed for export by the State-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China, (AVIC) made its debut flight on Friday in the southwest Guizhou province, state-run China Daily reported. The FTC-2000G aircraft flew for about 16 minutes. More than 1,000 people, including AVIC executives and provincial leaders as well as ambassadors and military attaches from several nations, took part in the ceremony marking the debut flight, it said. China in the recent past has developed a range of fighter jets including a stealth aircraft. It also jointly produces JF-Thunder aircraft with Pakistan. However, China is yet to develop an engine of its own for the jets and mostly imports it from Russia. The FTC-2000G is a fixedwing, multi-role combat plane tasked mainly with airstrikes against ground targets. It can also be used as a fighter jet or trainer aircraft, AVIC said in a statement. Equipped with modern radar and fire-control systems, it is capable of staying airborne for three hours in a single operation and can carry as much as 3 tonnes of missiles, rockets or bombs, AVIC said, adding that it is equipped with air-to-surface weapons. Hu Jianxing, chief designer of the FTC-2000G at Guizhou Aviation Industry, said the aircraft features high operational economy and can carry out tasks in all weather conditions and at night. With the proper equipment, the aircraft will also be able to perform reconnaissance or electronic-warfare operations. “The aircraft can fulfil a wide range of tasks, ranging from flight training and close-in air support to longdistance penetration airstrikes and air escorts,” he told the daily.