BEIJING, Sept. 23 (ChinaMil) -- PLA Air Force has made qualitative leap of strategic transformation, by intensifying training in realistic scenarios, such as the flyover of the island chains, control and management of the East China Sea, combat patrol in the South China Sea and exercise in plateau areas, and accelerating the systematic development of high-tech weapons and equipment, according to Shen Jinke, spokesman for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force(PLAAF), on September 22.
Flyover of the island chains
The H-6K bomber of the PLA Air Force flew over the Bashi Channel for training in the Western Pacific Ocean on March 30, 2015. Since then, the PLA Air Force flew outside the first island chain and reached the Western Pacific five times for military drills involving bombers, fighter jets, early warning aircraft and aerial tankers.
Such drills aim to enhance the PLAAF's ability to safeguard national sovereignty, defend national security and protect peace and development. In accordance with relevant international law and international practice, drills for the PLA Air Force outside the first island chain will be normalized, said Shen.
Control and management of East China Sea
On November 23, 2013 when the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone of the People's Republic of China was announced, the PLA Air Force conducted its first aerial patrol.
In the past three years, the Air Force has maintained normal air patrol according to the Announcement of the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone of the People's Republic of China.
The PLA Air Force has monitored and analyzed foreign military aircraft entering the air defense identification zone and took appropriate measures to safeguard national air safety according to different air threats.
The PLAAF will continue to spare no effort to implement air patrol in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, and resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of China.
Combat patrol in South China Sea
The South China Sea Islands have been China's territory since ancient times and China's territorial sovereignty and rights over the South China Sea are inalienable and inviolable. The aviation troops of the PLA Air Force have normalized its combat patrol in the South China Sea.
In mid-July this year, the H-6K bomber conducted combat patrol tasks over Huangyan Dao and other reefs, along with fighter jets, early warning aircraft and aerial tankers.
According to the China's Military Strategy in 2015, "in line with the strategic requirement of building air-space capabilities and conducting offensive and defensive operations, the PLAAF will endeavor to shift its focus from territorial air defense to both defense and offense, and build an air-space defense force structure that can meet the requirements of informationized operations.
The PLAAF will boost its capabilities for strategic early warning, air strike, air and missile defense, information countermeasures, airborne operations, strategic projection and comprehensive support.
In recent years, advanced fighter jets, large transport aircraft, early warning aircraft, aerial tankers, advanced surface-to-air missiles and other high-tech weapons and equipment of world's advanced level have joined the PLA Air Force, which have significantly enhanced its long range combat capability and information-system-based systematic combat capability.
"The strategic Chinese Air Force is flying higher and farther and is becoming more open and confident," Shen Jinke said.
Shen also briefed that during the PLA Air Force Aviation Open Day held in Changchun this month, twelve types of equipment of the PLA Air Force including H-6K bomber, KJ-500 Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) aircraft and HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system were also opened to the public for the first time.
In the past three China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibitions (Airshow China), visitors got a glimpse of main battle equipment of the PLA Air Force which were rarely exposed to public.
In the forthcoming 11th Airshow China, the PLA Air Force will fully demonstrate its new achievements made in the strategic transformation period.