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China’s Latest Taiwan Incursion Reveals Worrying Capability

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
TAIPEI, TAIWAN — China surprised the world on Sunday when it practiced aerial refueling during its latest mass incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone. Aerial refueling has long been considered a weak point of the Chinese air force. Here are the details:


Reuters reports that a large force of Chinese warplanes passed close to Taiwan on Sunday, November 28, prompting Taiwan to scramble fighter jets to track the incoming warplanes.


The Chinese force consisted of 27 aircraft that included five nuclear-capable bombers, 18 fighters, three large support planes, and an aerial tanker.


The aerial tanker was significant as it was the first time that China practiced a refuelling mission in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.


Twelve of the fighter jets flew patterns around the southwest corner of Taiwan's air defense zone, just to the northeast of the Dongsha Islands, while the remaining aircraft flew in a large “V” pattern from the southwest corner of the zone to the southeast corner, and back.


China has recently greatly increased its pressure on Taiwan’s defenses, sending a total of 149 warplanes into the democratically governed country’s air defense zone in only the first four days of October.


Taiwan says China is using “gray zone warfare," which is designed to wear out Taiwan's forces by forcing them to scramble repeatedly.


China’s Y-20U tanker is a new version of its Y-20 military transport aircraft that’s been modified for aerial refueling.


The addition of such aircraft could greatly extend the range of China's fighters, bombers, and transport planes.


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