China announced a program of accelerated training of fighter pilots

Politics 25 July, 2022

The first Air Force cadets trained on the J-10, a Chinese fighter-bomber, have just received combat training in three years instead of six, according to Beijing.

The Chinese Air Force has prepared the first batch of young J-10 fighter pilots, 23-year-old cadets who will join operational squadrons, Chinese state media reported on Saturday, July 23.

Shijiazhuang Aviation Academy was supposed to receive its first training J-10s in 2020. Thanks to this, the cadets, whose number is not reported, will receive combat readiness in three years, compared to six earlier when training on various devices. «The share of tactical training has been increased, such as combat operations with several aircraft and live firing», – the website of the Central Military Council (CMC) of the Communist Party of China says.

This statement was made against the background of the fact that tensions around Taiwan are as high as ever. In the air, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) faces two tasks. He needs to recruit enough competent staff to support his brilliant modernization — he will have about 1,300 fighters, but most of them are outdated. She is also summoned by the party to better prepare for the fight.

It was only in the late 1990s that the Air Force recovered from the dark years of Maoism, when almost all technical schools were closed. Today, Beijing is tempering its pilots in real situations, sending huge squadrons to penetrate the identification and defense zone of Taiwan — 969 invasions in 2021, already 600 in 2022.

«Testing new training methods is an important step in strengthening the armed forces [taking into account] the acceleration of the emergence of a new generation of combat capabilities», – thus boasts the CMC. It was with this in mind that in September 2021, Chang Dingqiu, a 54-year-old general, a fighter pilot, was put at the head of the Air Force.

Manufactured in Chengdu (central-western China), the J-10 multipurpose aircraft, developed using Russian (Sukhoi) and Israeli (Lavi) technologies, entered service in the basic version in 2004. Since then, the Chinese fourth-generation fighter – Bomber continued to appear in new versions, until in 2021, a national, and not a Russian engine, was first noticed on the J-10C. It is said that Beijing sold twenty-five copies to Pakistan to replace the J-17 produced jointly, and two were delivered.

The aircraft will be the first fighter that will stand comparison with the American F-16 or Russian MiG-29, even if its real characteristics have yet to be proven. The PLA announced that it wants to make it the basis of its forces, having about 250 combat copies.

The Pentagon, which has excellent aviation facilities, takes this aspect of China’s military growth very seriously. Because with its J-10C, tanker planes, electronic warfare planes, J-15 aircraft on aircraft carriers and J-20 stealth bombers, the PLA can now conduct long-range operations in the Pacific Ocean.