By Richard Fisher, Geostrategy-Direct.com
Chinese Xian Aircraft Corporation JH-7A strike fighters conducted a simulated attack on Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force “escort vessels” in late May, according to an Aug. 19 report in The Japan Times.
This incident took place near the disputed Senkaku Islands and the report disclosed that even though the aircraft did not “lock” their radar on the Japanese warships, electronic intelligence gathered from the Chinese aircraft confirmed they were conducting a simulated anti-ship mission.
While the JH-7 began development in 1983 it did not enter service in useful numbers until the early 2000s and only after Britain sold China the means to coproduce the 1960s vintage Rolls Royce Spey turbofan, known in China as the Qinling.
The improved supersonic speed capable JH-7A is used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the PLA Naval Air Force, with the later arming theirs with the 200km range YJ-83 subsonic speed anti-ship cruise missile.
They can also carry the supersonic speed YJ-91 ramjet powered anti-ship missile.