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World Defense & Security News - China
 
 
China's H-6K strategic bombers conduct first aerial exercises in West Pacific
 
The Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF) for the first time organized its aviation troops to go to the airspace above the West Pacific Ocean to carry out military training, Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, said in south China’s Guangzhou province on March 30, 2015.
     
The Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF) for the first time organized its aviation troops to go to the airspace above the West Pacific Ocean to carry out military training, Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, said in south China’s Guangzhou province on March 30, 2015.
China's People Liberation Army Air Force Xian H-6K Strategic Bombers during military drills
     
The warplanes of the PLA Air Force flew to the West Pacific for training via the Bashi Channel on March 30 and returned on the same day after finishing the training and achieving the given goal, according to Shen.

Training in the airspace far from China is an effective way for the PLA Air Force to temper its combat capability and also a common practice of world powers' air forces, Col. Shen said.

Shen said that the military training in the airspace above the Western Pacific by the PLA Air Force is a routine arrangement of the annual training plan for the PLA Air Force and also a normal requirement of China's national defense construction.

Shen pointed out that this training by the PLA Air Force complies with relevant international laws and practices, is not aimed at any country or target and poses no threat to any country or region. "It is common for the air force of every major power in the world to carry out exercises like this," Shen said.

Photos published by the PLA Air Force indicated the bombers taking part in the drill were the H-6K variant. Shen also said the bombers flew over the Bashi channel between Taiwan and the Philippines before reaching the airspace of the Pacific. The Xian H-6K is the latest H-6 variant, re-engined with D-30KP turbofan engines of 12,000 kg thrust replacing the original Chinese turbojets. Other modifications include larger air intakes, re-designed flight deck with smaller/fewer transparencies and large dielectric nose radome.

While no further details of the exercise were revealed, the Jiji Press based in Tokyo expressed concern over the ability of the PLA Air Force to deploy H-6 bombers to the Western Pacific.