Our Bureau
05:46 PM, May 5, 2017
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Chinese air force's first drill in western Pacific.

Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force is introducing stringent, realistic combat scenarios exercises to improve pilot capabilities.

Commanders and pilots have been given stringent, realistic combat scenarios and are told to try their best to win.

Moreover, freestyle fighting, live-fire strikes and long-range sea patrols have become regular elements in the training of the Air Force's fighter jet and bomber units, China Daily reported reported Friday.

The Air Force Headquarters organizes four large exercises each year for different units-the Red Sword advanced aerial combat exercise, Blue Shield aircraft and missile defense exercise, Golden Helmet freestyle fighting exercise and Golden Dart land attack exercise.

All of these exercises involve the use of sophisticated maneuvers, weapons and electronic countermeasures. The tasks in the exercises are deliberately designed to test the weaknesses of participants, forcing them to keep improving, the Air Force said.

On the basic level, front-line commanders are also aware of the importance of combat simulations and use every opportunity to create realistic fighting scenarios, it said.

A fighter jet unit of the Southern Theater Command invited an electronic warfare unit to carry out electronic war games with it to verify its jamming and anti-jamming measures. The unit also cooperates with aviation forces under the PLA Navy's South Sea Fleet to conduct aerial combat drills, which feature confrontation between various types of fighter jets above the sea.

Another fighter jet unit, under the Western Theater Command, often joins hands with other Air Force units to perform integrated command and joint operation drills, which involve radars and air defense missiles, as well as multiple kinds of aircraft.

"Pilots should train in every environment where aerial combat can occur. Thanks to exercises that are much more difficult than before, pilots have substantially enhanced their capabilities," the news release quoted Xu Qin, a female pilot of the JH-7 fighter/bomber in the Northern Theater Command, as saying.

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