Around August 1, the PLA Daily reported that the Air Force in the Guangzhou Military Command conducted a J-10 fighter aerial refueling. The International Herald explained that J-10 is the most advanced fighter jet in China. Its flying range is 3,400 km and effective air combat radius is 700 km. As the islands and water in the South China Sea that China and ASEAN countries dispute are over 1,000 km from China’s mainland, the aerial refueling resolved the J-10’s flying limitation.
The International Herald further commented that this is a milestone for China’s Air Force to go beyond land-based defense, an announcement that China will expand its control of the air and sea, and a demonstration of China’s joint combat capability between the Air Force and the Navy as the J-10 is taking on what is traditionally the Naval Air Force’s responsibility.
Source: International Herald, August 3, 2009