China touts fighter jets at public airshow

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China's stealth fighter steals the show at Airshow China 2018

The six-day exhibition concluded Sunday in Zhuhai, in south China's Guangdong Province.

At the air show, China unveiled new weapon systems like the export versions of the 609-intelligence radar and CM 401 anti-ship missile, which are serving in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

In May, China first revealed it was conducting advanced stealth tests for the J-20 and a report published in June by another Communist Party-run newspaper, China Youth Daily, claimed the development of the J-20 gave the country a newfound status shared only by the USA and Russian Federation.

The 609-intelligence radar is able to detect long-range early warning of stealth aircraft such as the US F-35, tactical ballistic missiles, and targets close to space, according to its developer, the 14th Institute of the China Electronic Technology Group Corporation (CETC). For the first time, the aircraft's missile bay was opened to the public, revealing what was reportedly six long-range air-to-air missiles, in addition to two mounted short-range combat missiles. One expert, Song Zhongping, previously commented that "the J-20 will engage with rivals in the future who dare to provoke China in the air".

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The post claimed that the arrival of the J-20 would change the balance of air power in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Americans have faced serious technical issues with the planes and severe backlash over the cost of the development program - each Raptor is priced at about $140 million, compared to $50 million spent by the Chinese for each J-20.

China's largest airshow featured a show of force Sunday, as the country showed off the missiles in its advanced J-20 stealth fighter jet during a flyover.

However, Layton said China remains 10 to 20 years behind the leaders in thrust vectoring.

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