China’s fighter pilots rushed into anti-US action

China’s newly-trained fighter pilots are being rushed into action to intercept increasing foreign reconnaissance flights, according to recent news reports. This gives its novice pilots operational experience, reveals China’s responses to air incursions by the US and its allies, and adds new impetus to China’s reforms to its pilot training program.

Last week, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that People’s Liberation Army – Air Force (PLA-AF) fighter pilots fresh out of training had been sent to intercept increasing incursions by US and other foreign aircraft in the East and South China Seas. The report notes that in some cases pilots are put into action just a month after completing their training pipeline.

The SCMP report notes that US aircraft were involved in most of these encounters and that China is stepping up training for its new pilots to handle the situations. The report also says that the increased operations tempo is forcing China’s new pilots to learn flight skills quickly.


Business Asia
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