The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is presently conducting a “confrontational” air defense drill near Guangdong Province coast close to the area reportedly under close-in U.S. reconnaissance flights.
“PLA drills are routinely scheduled and not targeted at any specific country but U.S. aerial close-in reconnaissance operations pose threats to China's national security. So the drills also show that the PLA is always prepared to defend against any hostile aggression,” a Chinese military expert was quoted as saying by Global Times on Thursday.
“The drills can be seen as a reminder to the U.S. that their provocative actions should not go any farther. The PLA can send warplanes to disrupt U.S. aircraft activities including reconnaissance,” the expert added.
An air defense brigade under the PLA 74th Group Army is participating in the exercises set in a real combat scenario. Military equipment such as drones, anti-aircraft guns, road-mobile anti-aircraft missiles and radar installations were deployed in the drills, CCTV reported Wednesday.
It is not clear when the drills began and when it is scheduled to conclude.
Four target drones attacked a battle position with the support of simulated jamming aircraft as part of mock conflicts. Anti-aircraft artillery units immediately formed a network with their fire-control radars, narrowed down the scope of early warning and identified the ‘hostile’ targets, before unleashing a barrage of bullets on them.
Chinese experts speculate America’s close-in reconnaissance operations between July 6-8 could be an attempt to gain knowledge of technical parameters, locations and movements of the Chinese military's weapons and equipment over the South China Sea and Taiwan.