On par with Ilyushin Il-76 and C-17 Globemaster III, China Launches New Xian Y 20U Tanker Aircraft

On par with Ilyushin Il-76 and C-17 Globemaster III, China Launches New Xian Y 20U Tanker Aircraft
The Chinese Air Force (PLA) new Xian Y 20U tanker aircraft

Beijing - The new Xian Y 20U tanker of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has started conducting combat readiness training. This then marks an important milestone in China's military modernization.

Not only that, the Xi'an Y 20U air tanker unit recently also has the potential to seriously expand the range of Chinese warplanes in the East and South China Seas.

As is well known, the lack of tankers has long been a major weakness of the PLA Air Force. This largely stems from a defensive orientation and focus on safeguarding domestic airspace.

Prior to the Y 20U's induction, the PLA's tanker fleet consisted of only three Russian Il-78M jets and a number of H-6 bomber fuselages converted for mid-air refueling. However, the problem of the lack of tankers has been largely mitigated.

In addition, the Y 20U has two drogue pods that allow the probe to refuel the fighter jet in the air.

Quoted from Military Watch Magazine, the Y 20U has a design based on the heavy transport of the Y-20. The aircraft is powered by the original WS-20 engine and has a significant range. The foreign equivalent of the Y-20 is the Russian Ilyushin Il-76 and the United States C-17 Globemaster III.

Quoted from Military Today, the Ilyushin II-76 is a famous Soviet-era design. This aircraft has served Russia, Algeria, Belarus, China, Cuba, India, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Ukraine. The aircraft is designed to deliver heavy vehicles and engines to remote, underserved airfields.

Thus, this aircraft can operate from short and unpaved runways. The Ilyushin Il-76 can cope with the worst weather conditions experienced in the Siberian and Arctic regions. In addition, this military transport can also carry a payload of up to 50 tons. That means, these vehicles can deliver cargo, supplies, and vehicles by air.

The aircraft's capacity itself reaches 140 troops or 125 paratroopers. The plane can also carry around 110 wounded soldiers with medics.

Quoting from AF-mil, the C-17 Globemaster III is the most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the Air Force. The C-17 is capable of rapidly dispatching strategic troops and all types of cargo to major operating bases or directly to forward bases in deployment areas.

The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport stretchers and outpatients during aeromedical evacuations. The versatility and performance inherent in this style of the C-17 Globemaster III enhance the capability of the airlift system.

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