A J-10C fighter jet of the Bayi Aerobatic Team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force takes off from an airfield after being delivered in spring 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Aviation Industry Corp of China
Two types of main combat equipment of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force, the Type 052D destroyer and the J-10C fighter jet, are participating in an international maritime and aerospace exhibition in Malaysia that kicked off on Tuesday.
The expo marks a good opportunity for the PLA to show openness, carry out exchanges and communicate with its foreign counterparts, and also for the domestically developed destroyer and fighter jet to attract international buyers, analysts said.
After a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 16th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition kicked off on Tuesday with an opening ceremony, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on the day.
With some 119 aircraft and 40 vessels participating and 18 countries including China setting up national booths, this year’s LIMA is the largest in its history, CCTV reported.
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The event is expected to attract more than 300,000 professionals and visitors from all over the world, making it one of the most important exhibitions of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, the report said.
After setting out from China on May 16 and sailing through the South China Sea, the Singapore Strait and the Strait of Malacca, the Zhanjiang arrived in Langkawi on Monday and will host an open-day event and a deck reception as well as participate in a fleet review during the exhibition, the PLA Navy said in a press release on Monday.
“We see the LIMA expo as an opportunity to strengthen exchanges and communications with [other] participating navies. Diverse activities will boost mutual understandings between naval personnel from different countries, and we will also fully display the PLA Navy’s image as a peaceful force,” said Wei Qiang, commanding officer of the Zhanjiang.
J-10C fighter jets of the PLA Air Force’s Bayi Aerobatic Team will deliver four rounds of flight performances during the five-day exhibition, the PLA Air Force said in a press release on Monday.
This marks the first overseas flight performance since the team converted to flying the new J-10C aircraft.
The public displays of the Type 052D and the J-10C at the LIMA expo showed an open and friendly PLA as well as China’s high level of modern equipment development, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Both the Type 052D destroyer and the J-10C fighter jet are the PLA’s main combat equipment and are made available on the international market, according to media reports.
The displays at LIMA will give potential foreign customers a direct impression about their outstanding capabilities, Wei said.
With an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system and a vertical launch system with several dozens of missile cells, the Type 052D destroyer excels in air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack missions, while the multirole J-10C fighter jet can carry out air combat, anti-ship and land attack missions with its AESA radar, advanced avionics and high maneuverability, Wei said, calling the two products very competitive on the international market.
Another Chinese-made vessel, the PNS Shahjahan, a Type 054A/P frigate of the Pakistan Navy that China delivered in early May, is also participating in the LIMA expo, CCTV reported.
The Type 054A, also the PLA Navy’s frigate of choice, is also available on the international market.