BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Pilots from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force have carried out formation flight training with the country's latest J-20 stealth fighter and the Y-20 military transport aircraft, the air force announced.
Some pilots are able to fly several new models of fighter jets, including the J-20, J-16, and J-10C, Shen Jinke, spokesperson for the air force, said Friday at a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the PLA Air Force, which falls on Saturday.
The J-20, China's fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet, made its maiden flight in 2011 and was officially commissioned into military service in September this year.
To train pilots to fly the new jets, the air force has established aviation schools across the country and forged cooperation with prestigious universities like Tsinghua University, said Shen.
It has also sped up capacity building in anti-missile air defense, setting the precedent of shooting down an enemy plane with ground-to-air missiles and equipping the army with Chinese-developed HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles, Shen said.
The air force has also expanded the reach of its activities from land to sea, moving towards development of a modern strategic force with whole-territory combat capabilities, he added.
In the past five years, China has advanced reform in national defense and the armed forces under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, making historic steps in building a system of military strength.