Our Bureau
11:31 AM, February 21, 2018
A J-11 fighter jet attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Western Theater Command. Image: China Military Online

China has stationed J-10 and J-11 fighter jets in the Western Theater Command covering Tibet which it claims are third generation plus aircraft to counter India's third generation fighters.

India has prepared its air base in the North Eastern part of country bordering Tibet so that its front-line its Su-30MKI fighter jets can operate there. In addition, the Dassault Rafale jets, which India is expected to receive from 2019 are intended for operation from high altitude airfields.

While the J-11 is based on the Russian Su-27 fighter jet but heavily modified to suit the Chinese Air Force's needs, the J-10 is said to be inspired by the US F-16 with technology sourced from Israel's abandoned Lavi aircraft program.

"Strengthening the 3.5-generation fighter jets or even stationing more advanced fighters in the Western Theatre Command has been urgent for the PLA," Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday, adding that such upgrades have been usually first conducted in south and east theatre commands.

The PLA website reported that the PLA Air Force conducted training at the foot of the Qilian Mountains in Northwest China's Gansu Province, and a navy aviation regiment was on patrol in Jiaodong Peninsula, East China's Shandong province.

The PLA website also reported on Monday that the North China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy on Saturday conducted training exercises in the Yellow Sea.

During Spring Festival, real combat trainings have been included in patrol, such as submarine ambush, enemy warship attacks and mine clearing and laying, in preparation to face any emergency situation, an officer with the fleet said.

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