China Preps To Showcase Air Power at Zhuhai Show
By WENDELL MINNICK
Zhuhai, China - About 70 aircraft from 35 countries and more than 600 domestic and foreign exhibitors are showcasing their wares at China's biggest aerospace and aviation show, the 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Zhuhai Airshow), beginning Nov. 16 in the southeastern province of Guangdong.
The biennial aviation exhibition has become a must-see for foreign defense officials and academic analysts seeking information on China's opaque defense industry and military establishment. The show is unlikely to disappoint, with displays of new UAVs, missile and rocket systems, and other equipment not seen before.
Journalists were allowed a preshow visit Nov. 15.
There were several detailed artist renderings of anti-ship cruise missiles destroying a U.S. aircraft carrier. Two displays by the China Aerospace and Science and Technology Corp. demonstrated how using aerial reconnaissance from UAVs and Beidou satellite communication and navigation satellites could coordinate an anti-ship cruise missile assault from aircraft, surface ships, submarines and land-based coastal batteries.
The show is operated by the government-owned, commercially run Zhuhai Airshow Co. and sponsored by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), Civil Aviation Administration, China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC) and a variety of defense and commercial aviation industries and supporters.
Foreign commercial aviation and defense companies exhibiting this year include Airbus, AgustaWestland, Bombardier, GE Aviation, Irkut, Pratt and Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Rosoboronexport, Sikorsky, Sukhoi Aviation and Thales.
A new U.S. exhibitor this year is Moog, and Honeywell is returning to the show after a long absence, show officials said.
Asian exhibitors are low-keyed at the show, but include the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies and Korea Aerospace Industries Assoc.
The PLAAF is showcasing a wide range of aircraft, including the Kongjing-200 advanced warning and control system aircraft, H-6 medium-range bomber and JH-7 and J-10 fighters. The service's August 1st aerobatics team will be flying six J-10s.
AVIC will show off the new L-15 advanced jet trainer. Sources at the show indicate that a new supersonic version of the L-15 has been developed.
The Pakistan Air Force will participate with flying displays of the JF-17 Thunder fighter and K-8 jet fighter trainer.
The JF-17 is a joint development program between the Chinese and Pakistan governments. The Pakistan Air Force's Sherdils aerobatic team will make its show debut with nine K-8s.
There are a number of seminars and conferences, mostly dealing with commercial aviation issues. The Military Flight Training Conference, jointly sponsored by the PLAAF and AVIC, ran from Nov. 14-15, with attendance from various countries, according to a show press release, but journalists were not allowed to attend.
"The main themes of the conference will concentrate on the pilot training from a future perspective," the release stated.