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10:31 AM, May 10, 2018
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Chinese J-20 fighter aircraft

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has deployed its stealth fighter jet, J-20, to sea areas for combat training.

"The J-20 has conducted a combat training mission in sea areas for the first time, and this has further strengthened the comprehensive combat capability of the PLA Air Force," PLA air force spokesperson Shen Jinke was quoted as saying by Global Times Wednesday.

Since the J-20 was enlisted in the operating forces of the air force, pilot training has been smooth, and the J-20 also trained with other fighter jets, including the J-16 and J-10C in simulated combat drills, Shen said.

"The J-20 is a multifunctional fighter jet, so apart from air combat, it also needs to be capable of attacking targets at sea and on the ground, which means training at sea area is essential," Song Zhongping, a TV commentator and military expert, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Combat training operations at sea are a "compulsory course" for the PLA, no matter which unit, because the major demands for using military forces are all from the seas, such as the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, Song noted.

China is preparing to commence research on a sixth-generation fighter aircraft from experience gained in the developing the fifth-generation J-20 stealth jet, its most modern fighter to date.

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