Chinese Air Force's J-16 May Play The Core Role in South China Sea Combat

When asked about China's trump card in sea and air command over the South China Sea region, military expert Du Wenlong told the media in an interview that cooperation between the J-10 series, J-11 series, J-16, KJ 2000, and KJ 200 - i.e. fighters and AEWs – gives China control over enemy targets in an extended airspace through strong air-to-air attack capability. A variety of airborne weapons form a relatively strong attack network.

Some of our fighters, weapons, and AEWs with air-to-ship attack functions can also meet the need for command over the sea.
In addition, we have advanced destroyers and frigates on the surface, as well as submarines operating under water. It should be pointed out that command of the air implies command of the sea. This means that the extraordinary air-to-air, air-to-sea, and air-to-ground capabilities of the J-16 enable it to serve as an air platform which can fulfill multiple simultaneous roles in the region. 

If in the future our advanced AEWs are equipped with air-to-sea and air-to-ground reconnaissance and early warning technology, the accuracy and scope of their detection capability and their data transmission capacity will be significantly improved, while their capacity to command flight formations and air-to-sea operations will also develop rapidly. Therefore from this perspective cooperation between the J-16 and other fighters, along with the AEWs, will play a core role in establishing command over sea and air in the South China Sea region.

Editor:YanMeng、Zhang Qian

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