The Imminent Birth of China’s Large Amphibious Aircraft


AG-600, the largest amphibious aircraft in the world China is building. Mil.huanqiu.com file photo

AG-600, the largest amphibious aircraft in the world China is building. Mil.huanqiu.com file photo

I have mentioned in my post that Chinese President Xi Jinping told Chinese scientists and engineers that China must have large aircrafts. Taking into consideration of his instruction to Chinese air force on the development of China’s integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense, I would speculate that the large aircraft Xi wants the most urgently is large strategic bombers with integrated space and air capabilities, i.e. aerospace warplanes.

China has been making smooth progress in making large aircrafts. In November last year, China assembled its large airliner C919. On July 6, China successfully began to commission its large military transport Y-20. Since July 17, it has begun general assembly of its homegrown large amphibious aircraft AG-600.

Now, only Russia and Japan are able to make large amphibious aircrafts, but theirs are smaller than AG-600 in loading capacity and range. AG-600 can carry 50 disaster victims rescued and can travel from Sanya, Hainan to James Shoal

What is special in AG-600 is its ability to take off and land on both water and land.

This blogger’s comment: Since AG-600 can take off and land on both land and water , there is no need to spend lots of funds to build three large airports on China’s artificial islands for civilian travel. The goal of military application is obvious in building the three airports.

Chinese navy chief Adm. Wu Shengli has already told his US counterpart Adm. John Richardson that China’s military deployment on its artificial islands depends on the threat it faces. That is a very clear signal that the presence of US navy in the South China Sea will give China the excuse to use the airports for warplanes though China will successfully build its large amphibious aircrafts satisfactory for civilian travel to the artificial islands.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “One more type of China’s homegrown large aircraft will emerge” (summary and comment by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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