AMPHIBIOUS AIRCRAFT AG600 The world’s largest amphibian aircraft
and over 100 personnel. Their transport plane, the Hawk, has a continuous flight capacity of 600 miles, or 1.5 hours of flying, requiring 22 fuel stops in 15 countries en route to Zhuhai. This expedition is part of a 90‑day deployment in Asia. “We have never been to China before, so it is a huge milestone in the history of the Red Arrows,” says squadron leader David Montenegro. “Displaying at the Zhuhai Airshow is a major career highlight for me.” This airshow is the single best opportunity for China to display its increasingly sophisticated variety of military goods. On display were the latest products in space, aviation, electronics and land armament. These included fighter jets, drones, missiles, tanks and artillery. Among them was the Xian Y ‑20, China’s first domestically ‑developed large ‑scale transport plane. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 66 metric tonnes and a maximum take‑off weight of more than 200 tonnes. Chinese‑made drones, including the Cai Hong series of reconnaissance and combat drones which have been purchased by a dozen countries around the world, also attracted much attention. Competition is fierce in the international NOVEMBER 2016
arms market. China currently ranks third, behind the United States and Russia, and is keen to increase its market share beyond its traditional customers. Between 2011 and 2015, Pakistan was its biggest customer, accounting for 35 per cent of China’s arms exports, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Bangladesh accounted for 20 per cent and Myanmar 16 per cent. During this period, China also increased its sales to African countries, namely, Nigeria, Uganda and Djibouti. Its exports include submarines, missiles and fighter jets.
FROM MODEST BEGINNINGS, THE EXHIBITION CONTINUES TO EXPAND INTERNATIONALLY
Zhuhai held the first Airshow China in November 1996. To date, it is the only professional aviation exhibition endorsed by the central government. More than 400 aerospace firms from 25 countries took part in the first show which attracted 20,000 trade representatives, 700,000 public spectators and roughly 218 local and international press contacts. Sixteen business