China staged its largest-ever air force display in a massive military parade in downtown Beijing Thursday morning in celebration of the end of World War II.
Featured with a distinctive giant radome on its back, a Kongjing-2000 AEWC aircraft escorted by eight J-10 fighters flew over Tian'anmen Square, kicking off the grand show.
Eighteen types of aircraft numbering nearly 200 in total constituted 10 air echelons on display, including air flag guard formations, the leading aircraft echelon, airborne early warning and control (AEWC) aircraft, bombers, fighters, carrier-based aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft, a refuelling and receiver echelon, and helicopters.
For many viewers, the debut of five Chinese-made J-15 carrier-based fighter jets was one of the most eye-catching part in the grandiose air force show.
Nicknamed "Flying Shark," J-15 is China's first generation long-range, multi-purpose carrier-borne fighter jet, with the capability to carry various tasks.
On Nov. 23, 2012, China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, conducted successful take-off and landing tests of its carrier-borne J-15 fighters, the main strike force of China's carrier group.
The Liaoning, which was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and commissioned in September 2012, has completed more than 100 scientific-research tests, as well as landing and takeoff exercises by J-15 fighters and various types of helicopters.
Spectators applauded when the latest model of China's AEWC aircraft Kongjing-500 flew over Tian'anmen Square, followed by Y-8 command and communication aircraft and J-10 fighters.
Kongjing-500 is a medium-sized early warning and control aircraft, used for surveillance, guidance and other missions.
Another highlight of the air force show is the debut of the home-grown H-6K bomber. It is mainly used for conducting medium-long-range attack and destroying targets beyond defense zone.
The air force show also included a maritime patrol aircraft echelon consisting of Kongjing-200H AEWC aircraft, JH-7A fighter-bombers and Y-8 special mission aircraft.
Dozens of J-11B and J-10A fighters are on display.
The massive military parade was concluded as the last formation of 70 helicopters from the PLA's army aviation flew over Tian'anmen Square.
The parade was held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World War II. It is the first military parade in China to mark an anniversary of the war.
A total of 12,000 Chinese troops took part in the grandiose parade, along with 500 pieces of equipment.
The last major military parade was held in 2009 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, with 151 aircraft of 14 types on display.
Since its founding, China has staged 14 military parades marking its national day. Only 17 captured aircraft were showcased in the National Day parade in 1949.
(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2015)