U.S. Forces received a brazen notice from the Chinese air force after it sent a warning to the U.S. Navy. This bold move indicates that China is not intimidated by U.S. presence.
The PLA Air Force had live firing exercises in the South China Sea. A small number of jet fighters flew in Woody Island as a response to US exercises in the area. The naval drills and freedom of navigation exercises conducted by the US Forces have made China more jittery according to SCMP.
During the exercises conducted by the People's Liberation Army Southern Theatre Command, 3000 missiles were used to simulate attacks on other ships. State media in China touted the exercises, but they were secretive over the exact location.
The CCTV website posted the images of the drills with JH-7 bombers and J-11B fighter jets. In actual encounters with U.S. planes, the crafts will be heavily armed and loaded with more fuel, making the drills more plausible in an actual combat scenario.
Washington slams China's claims
The U.S. slammed China's illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea. China is hungry for resources and is willing to clog up shipping lanes and monopolize resources for all the ASEAN nations, as their own sovereignty. Chinese military leaders are threatening more exercises that involved targets that don't fire back, according to Reuters.
One Hong Kong-based military commentator, Song Zhongping, said the exercises are targeted at the US FONOPs that have been sailing with impunity while the PLA took a step back. They are even saying that Chinese bombers are trained to battle against U.S. combat air patrol screens that protect American ships.
China also developed the non-stealth J-16, which is another upgrade over the JH-7. More drills of the PLA will be held to deal with the more advance American airplanes as tension escalates between the two nations.
Zhou Chenming, associated with the Yuan Wang Military Science and Technology Institute in Beijing said that naval drills and air force drills will prep the PLA to repel forces like the U.S. Navy and Air Force with the latest and modern technologies, as mentioned in Yahoo.
American naval forces have the most advanced aircraft carriers and combat ships with nuclear-powered submarines, and the stealth craft like the F-22, B-2, F-35 as the most capable war weapons deployed. The touted J-20 has not been tested or documented despite the claims. It can match the F-15 which has gotten an upgrade to the F-22 Raptor. Also, the rumored replacement for the J-20, another stealth plane, is in planning stages only.
There are many factors that give the PLA Air Force a disadvantage. For one, they have no catapults that can launch fully loaded jets which shortens the range and combat capacity of Chinese planes. Another is the PLA Airforce needs the airbases in the purloined islands in the SCS to refuel and rearm. U.S. Carrier strike groups have all the support for its air wing, even electronic warfare, and aerial refueling as well.
Comparison between the J-11B and the F-15 which is updated to the F-15X, plus the F-18 Super Hornet that has not been put to the test.