Details of Chinese Y-20 emerge
Following the successful maiden flight of the Y-20, China’s first domestically developed heavy air transport, Chinese media revealed further details of the project on 26 January.
The development of a strategic airlifter is likely to enhance the People’s Liberation Army’s reach and could well also prove a powerful diplomatic tool.
The official codename of the aircraft is Kunpeng, named after a legendary bird in Chinese mythology that can fly thousands of kilometres, according to China Daily. The aircraft is believed to have been developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the country’s major military aircraft manufacturer.
The Y-20 is expected to have a crew of three and a maximum payload of 66 metric tons and a maximum takeoff weight of more than 200 tons. The high payload means the aircraft should be capable of flying the heaviest of the PLA’s main battle tanks, the 58-ton Type-99A2.
The aircraft is 47m long and has a wingspan of 50m, the report said.
Local sources said the aircraft began development in the early 1990s and in 2006 it was listed in a national mid- and long-term technological development plan. Photos of the Y-20 began to circulate on Chinese military websites on 24 December last year, leading to speculation that the aircraft would soon conduct its first test flight.
More from Military Logistics
New contract to support the Ardour turbofan is worth more than $1 billion.
A pair of A330s will be converted by Airbus for aerial refuelling, logistical support, humanitarian aid, and medical evacuations.
The latest $1.4 billion contract modification for General Dynamics NASSCO covers a new Expeditionary Sea Base ship and two more John Lewis-class fleet oilers.
New MRO contract between Boeing Defence Australia and RUAG Australia replaces work previously done in the US.
A systems integration contract for UK RN submarines is being extended to major surface vessels.
Austal USA is to build two additional Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ships for the USN, after Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) exercised a $156.17 …