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Military Capabilities

PLAAF seeks to regularise combat aircraft deployments to South China Sea

04 December 2017

Recently broadcast video footage showing Shenyang Aircraft Corporation J-11B fighters on Chinese-controlled Woody Island suggests that Beijing is seeking to regularise deployments of combat aircraft to the contested Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

While such combat aircraft have been spotted on the island before, footage aired by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) on 29 November confirmed that the aircraft are being housed in “thermostabilised hangars to boost the jet fighters’ durability and resistance to the island’s humidity and high temperatures”, according to a 30 November report by the Global Times newspaper.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed footage on 29 November of a J-11B fighter aircraft being housed in a hangar on Woody Island in the South China Sea. (CCTV)Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed footage on 29 November of a J-11B fighter aircraft being housed in a hangar on Woody Island in the South China Sea. (CCTV)

The imagery also indicates that the hangars may be able to accommodate at least two J-11B-size fighters.



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