China's J-20 and Y-20 have begun training together, and many pilots are able to fly other new types of fighters in formation and are combat-ready, Chinese military experts said.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force's new weapons have developed significantly in the past five years. China's J-20 and Y-20 have begun training together, and many pilots are able to fly other new types of fighters, Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, was quoted as saying by Global Times on Friday ahead of 68th anniversary of the PLA Air Force on Saturday.
"The formation flights of the J-20 and Y-20 mean that their designs have been finalized, are ready for mass production and are combat-ready," Song Zhongping, a Phoenix TV commentator and military expert, told the Global Times Friday.
The official announcement of the finalization and mass production is still to be made by the PLA.
Training in formation is the aircrafts' second phase, with the first being standalone flights, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times Friday.
The J-20, a stealth fighter jet independently developed by China, was officially commissioned on September 28. The aircraft is the country's fourth-generation medium-to-long- range fighter jet, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Y-20, which made its maiden flight in July 2016, has a maximum takeoff weight of 200 tons, and is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions, Xinhua reported.
Many pilots are able to fly new types of fighters, which means a few units of the PLA Air Force have multiple fighters and pilots who can fly different types of fighters. Previously, Chinese fighter pilots could only fly a single type, Zhang Jingting, deputy director of the Chinese Flight Test Establishment, told the Global Times on Friday.
"The ability to fly different types of fighters could benefit the development and operational performance of weapons," Zhang said.