An in-flight refuelling tanker variant of the Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) Y-20 Kunpeng strategic transport aircraft will appear in public “in the near future”, said the commander of a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aviation regiment in an interview with state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast on 24 February.
Variants of the Y-20 have been anticipated for some time. Satellite imagery from November 2018 of the XAC assembly facility at Xian-Yanliang airfield appeared to show a Y-20 fitted with underwing refuelling pods, and a low-resolution image that appeared in October 2019 suggested that flight testing of this variant was in progress.
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